Reformation 500: Great hymn singing marks a great occasion

By James Campbell

Christians of many denominations showed that when it comes to singing no nation can beat the Welsh!

And in St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday 31 October they celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the role of Martin Luther by singing the great Welsh hymn Calon Lan, with such volume and sincerity of faith that I thought the roof of the cathedral would be blown off.

What an occasion it was with all Christians under the banner of Cytun, the organisation which unites in pilgrimage those churches in Wales which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, brought the churches together in communion.

In his welcome, Archbishop George Stack said: “This Quincentenary commemoration, and the events relating to it, have given us a marvellous opportunity to see a more complete picture of this man, not just to theology, and to the religious life of Europe and beyond, but also, according to some writers, one who laid the foundations of a a view of the world which remains to this very day.”

The Archbishop of Wales John D.E. Davies, said: “We come with different thoughts and feelings of thanksgiving and lament, joy and repentance, joy in the Gospel and sorrow for division.”

Mr Reinallt Thomas, Moderator of the Free Church Council in Wales. Added: “Today we rejoice in the gifts that have come to the Church through the Reformation, to repent for dividing walls that we, and our forebears, have built, and to commit to work together in common witness and the service of Jesus Christ in the world.”

Common witness indeed when we look at the Christian denominations represented in the Cathedral:

  • The Catholic Church
  • The Church in Wales
  • The Baptist Union of Wales
  • South Wales Baptist Association
  • The Methodist Church
  • The German-Speaking Lutheran Church
  • The Salvation Army
  • The United Reformed Church
  • The Union of Welsh Independents
  • The Congregational Federation
  • The Presbyterian Church of Wales
  • The Indian Orthodox Church
  • The Church of Pentecost – UK
  • Society of Friends

Also represented were many other organisations working on social and help themes.

Archbishop George added: “At the beginning of this centenary year at the World Lutheran Federal Ecumenical Prayer Service at Lund, in Sweden, Pope Francis said: 

‘Now we have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.’

 Archbishop George ended his address by referring to the hymn written by Martin Rinkhart, the pastor in the town of Eilenberg at the beginning of the 30 years war when both the war and the plague which ensued caused him to bury 4,500 people during his time in that parish. The Archbishop added: “We shall hear it today, sung in German by our own choir”

Now thank we all our God

With heart and hands and voices

Who wondrous things hath done

In whom our world rejoices

Who from our mother’s arms

Hath blessed us on our way

With countless gits of love

And still is ours today.

Our Lady of Fatima comes to Cardiff

St. David’s Cathedral was thronged with pilgrims and worshippers on Saturday 6 May in order to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Centenary year of the apparitions. Read more

School brings faith to life

Each member of the Church has an individual journey of faith that they share with those around them. For five young people at St. Robert’s Primary School in Aberkenfig their journey of faith began at school when they made the decision to be baptised. Read more

Bishops encourage Catholics to use their vote on June 8th

As the General Election on June 8th fast approaches, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issue a guidance letter encouraging Catholics to be engaged and take an active part in the election. Read more

Marriage Preparation Policy

Marriage preparation: Your views are invited on future practice How can the Church help couples sustain a loving and lasting marriage? Archbishop George is asking for YOUR views. Read more

Yr Offeren yn Gymraeg – Mass in Welsh

Announcement: The regular weekly Mass in Welsh at St Teilo’s Catholic Church, Whitchurch will come to an end on June 18th, the feast of Corpus Christi. Read more

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is a joint Anglican and Roman Catholic initiative to pray together a Pentecost Novena starting on 25th May, leading up to the birthday of the Church, Pentecost Sunday. The origins ... Read more

God you are the lover of peace and unity

At a large gathering in Cardiff Cathedral Archbishop George Stack spoke movingly of the events that had taken place overnight Manchester. Read more

Statement on the death of former First Minister

Having returned to Wales and hearing of the news of the death of the former First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan, Archbishop George Stack issued the following statement. Read more

Mass of Thanksgiving for New Catholics ... you are invited

At the start of the Season of Lent the local Church gathered at Cardiff Cathedral for the celebration of the Rite of Election for Catechumens (those to be baptised) and those seeking Full Communion with the Catholic Church. Read more

Standing with London

On hearing of the atrocities in London on Saturday night, Archbishop George Stack contacted Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark to assure him and his people of our sympathy and prayers in the face of such horror and violence. Read more

Glorious day sees new Deacon for the diocese

The city of London has seen much activity over the past few days thanks to the General Election. However today the city became a focus for another important event, at least for the Catholic Community. Read more

London Fire: solidarity and prayers needed

Archbishop George Stack has joined his prayers and condolences to those of Cardinal Vincent Nichols for those who are suffering as a result of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower ... Read more

The joy of Corpus Christi

Today, with great joy, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body & Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Read more

Archbishop George Stack reflects following the news of yesterday's attack on Finsbury Park Mosque, London. Read more

Catholic Churches and Schools helping Grenfell Tower victims ... How you can help

The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14th June will live on in the memory of the nation for many years to come. Read more

Cathedral leads the nation in prayer on the feast of Corpus Christi

Last Sunday BBC Radio 4 broadcast its ‘Sunday Worship’ programme live from an early morning Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at our own Cardiff Cathedral. Read more

Implementing the fruits of Amoris Laetitia

It has been almost two years since the cameras of the world focussed on the Vatican for the highly anticipated Synod of Bishops on “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”. Read more

Summer of Ordinations sees Second Deacon ordained

As ordination season continues, a contingent of people from Cardiff made the journey to St. Mary’s College Oscott near Birmingham this morning for the second of four summer ordinations for our Diocese. Rev. Nicholas Williams was ordained to the Diaconate ... Read more

Service Medal acknowledges nearly 70 years of work for Maesteg parishioner

Earlier today Archbishop George Stack travelled to the parish of Our Lady & St. Patrick, Maesteg to personally thank a parishioner for actively working in the parish for nearly 70 years. Read more

Newport Deacon scores a winner with UEFA and the BBC

It has been three weeks since the UEFA Champions League Final took place in Cardiff and Real Madrid won the title beating Juventus 4-1. In all of the excitement and festival around South Wales for the championship did you spot the winning goal shot by Deacon Pasquale Cinotti of All Saints parish in Newport .... Read more

Jubilee Celebrations for a Golden Priest

Speaking at the Mass celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Mgr. John Maguire at St. Mary’s Canton on Friday 16th June, Archbishop George Stack ... Read more

Growth and zeal for mission: a Vocations update

2017 has been a graced year. Not only have we had the opportunity of celebrating the diocese’s centenary, but there is a real sense of growth and new zeal for mission around the diocese. Read more

Bishops welcome new Apostolic Nuncio

Tuesday 4th July 2017 was a twofold day of significance for Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain. Read more

Budding filmakers scoop top prize

Nine talented young pupils from St John Lloyd Catholic Primary School, Cardiff scooped the prize of a Film-making Workshop in the recent Welsh Heritage Initiative ... Read more

‘Sacred Wales’ – ‘Cymru Sanctaidd’: The search for Wales’ favourite Church or Chapel

With over 4,500 churches and chapels, Wales has some of the most beautiful and historic religious buildings in the world. Read more

Closure of Heritage Lottery Fund's Grants for Places of Worship

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Grants for Places of Worship scheme (GPOW) is to be closed in September 2017. This will mean that churches will have to compete for funding against ... Read more

Maesteg pupils wow with ‘Proms in the Parish’

On Tuesday 18th July 2017 the pupils of St. Mary’s & St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Maesteg hosted the very first ‘Proms in the Parish’. Families of the children and members of the parish were treated to an extravaganza .... Read more

Cardiff's newest priest ordained

Fr. Daniel Stanton, 30, was ordained to the priesthood last Saturday, 22nd July 2017, at Cardiff Cathedral by Archbishop George Stack. Read more

Two new priests in one week brings much rejoicing

There was much joy and celebration today at Cardiff Cathedral – the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David as exactly a week after the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Daniel Stanton, we celebrated the ordination of a long serving Deacon to the priesthood. Read more

Have you heard this one? “7 seminarians walk into a bar ….”

There are a number of long standing jokes that we tell when we are with friends or family most of which start “An ‘x’, a ‘y’ and a ‘z’ walk into a bar ….”, well …. Read more

Catholic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to deliver talk on faith in Cardiff

Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher Rees-Mogg. These are the names given by Jacob and Helena Rees-Mogg to their sixth child born recently. Sixtus V was the last Pope of this name, elected in 1567. Read more

Clergy Moves 2017

I am very grateful to the following priests who have accepted new appointments which will become effective in September. Read more

In Memoriam - Kevin McNamara KSG

It is worthwhile to mourn the passing of Kevin McNamara, the former Member of Parliament for Hull North, a left of centre member of the Labour party and a committed Catholic. He died at the age of 82 on 6 August, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Read more

Prayers for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

In the past 24 hours it has been announced that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is seriously ill at this time. Cardinal Cormac is the retired Archbishop of Westminster and former President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. Read more

IN MEMORIAM – Diana, Princess of Wales

As the 20th Anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales approaches, Archbishop George Stack reflects on the events of 31st August 1997 and beyond. Read more

Dom Antony Tumelty O.S.B. - R.I.P.

With sadness it has been announced by Belmont Abbey that in the past 24 hours Dom Antony Tumelty has died following a long illness. Read more

Moving reflection at pilgrimage to Reformation Martyr

Newly-ordained Father Peter McLaren gave a most moving homily at the grave of Saint John Kemble at Welsh Newton on 22 August, the anniversary of the Saint’s martyrdom in 1679. Read more

Usk pilgrims mark 338th anniversary of Saint’s martyrdom

The sun shone brightly as pilgrims at Usk marked the heroic death of a Saint. Saint David Lewis, known as Tad y Tlodion – Father of the Poor – was martyred in Usk 338 years ago on 27th August … just for being a Catholic priest at a time when there were false rumours of a Catholic plot to assassinate King Charles II. Read more

Remembering Mother Teresa – 20 years on

On 5th September 1997, six days after Diana, Princess of Wales, died in the car crash in Paris, the world awoke to the news that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, had also died. Read more

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (1932-2017)

In the past few hours the sad news has come from London of the death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster and former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Read more

Holydays of Obligation reinstated

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have taken the decision to reinstate two of the Holydays of Obligation that were transferred to the nearest Sunday back in 2006. Read more

Rev. Bogdan Wera R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Fr. Bogdan Wera yesterday, Saturday 9th September 2017. Read more

Parish thanks Fr. Liam for faithful service

Sunday 23rd July 2017 saw a wonderful celebration of Fr Liam Hennessy’s 35 years of Priesthood and service to the Archdiocese. Read more

‘Cormac was a priest to his fingertips’

It has almost been three weeks since the Church laid to rest Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. On 13th September Westminster Cathedral was full with clergy and lay faithful of the Church from England and Wales as this faithful servant took his resting place within the Wales of the Mother Church of England and Wales. Read more

Catholic MP engages with protestors on visit to Cardiff

When Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg stepped out of his car at St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral to deliver a talk on ‘Faith in the Future’, he was greeted by a crowd of mainly hostile protestors. Read more

World Day of the Poor - 19th November

On 13th June 2017 in a message to the Universal Church, the Holy Father, Pope Francis proposed a more radical approach to the poor who he defined as including migrants, the homeless, people with disabilities and the isolated. His call is to go beyond charitable giving, important though it is, and to listen to the voice of the poor. Read more

400th Anniversary of Vincentian Charism

This Saturday, 14th October, Archbishop George will celebrate Mass at 12.00 noon in St. David’s Cathedral to mark the 400th anniversary of the charism of St. Vincent de Paul. Read more

Catholic Bishops issue statement for 50th Anniversary of Abortion Act

This coming Friday marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Abortion Act of 1967 coming into law within the United Kingdom with the formal act of Royal Assent. This statement, published by the Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland ... Read more

Giving voice to the Liturgy in the English speaking world

When the Second Vatican Council permitted the introduction of the vernacular (mother tongue) to the Liturgy it did so to promote a better understanding of what the Church is praying ... Read more

Proclaim 17: Building Missionary Parishes

On Saturday 21st October, parishioners gathered from all across the dicoese in St David’s Sixth Form College for our Evangelisation Conference designed to kick start evangelisation in our parishes by giving everyone practical steps forward for the work of the Church. The conference was truly transformative... Read more

Belmont Monks feature on BBC Four documentary

Last week anyone looking at their TV guide will have been drawn to a BBC Four documentary series entitled 'Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery' ... Read more

Reformation 500: Great hymn singing marks a great occasion

Christians of many denominations showed that when it comes to singing no nation can beat the Welsh! And in St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday 31 October they celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the role of Martin Luther by singing the great Welsh hymn Calon Lan ... Read more

Bute lineage remembered on Feast of All Souls

On Thursday November 2nd the Church called to mind and to prayer the souls of the faithful departed starting a period of month long prayer for the Holy Souls ... Read more

A reflection for Remembrance Sunday

Remembering our fallen .... Read more

Catholic primary first in Wales to win SAPERE award

St Robert’s Catholic Primary school, Aberkenfig, are the latest school in the UK and the FIRST in Wales to receive the SAPERE Silver School Award, in recognition of their commitment to the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach. Read more

Red Wednesday – Faith in Action

The pupils of St John Lloyd Primary School in Trowbridge, Cardiff really saw red on Red Wednesday! Read more

The two-way love which strengthens us and the Pope

I have been lucky enough to be in St Peter’s Square, in Rome, to be part of the thousands of pilgrims at a Papal General Audience ... Read more

Safeguard the Future of Catholic Education

As the end of 2017 approaches we look back on an eventful year within the life of the Church and the State as a whole.  One of the major events to take place was the General Election that resulted in another hung parliament ... Read more

Diaconate Ordination marks start of new Church year

Saturday 2nd December 2017 saw the end of one Liturgical cycle for the Church and the beginning of a new Liturgical Year. Advent is a time of renewal and preparation for welcoming Christ at the end of time, and of course at Christmas; but for Rev. Peter Davies the celebration of the start of Advent ... Read more

Cardiff School welcomes Slovakian Ambassador

On a recent visit to Wales the Ambassador of Slovakia, Mr. Lubomir Rehak, took a break from leading a business delegation to Wales to experience something of the Welsh education system ... Read more

Taking the waiting out of wanting – A Meditation for Advent

The shops have been decked for Christmas for over a month now. The TV Christmas advertisements have been bringing tears to the eyes over the same period of time. Read more

A Reflection for Christmas 2017

“…bind up hearts that are broken” in our own midst is one of the most profound of all the messages we hear this Christmas. Read more

Cornerstone to host Cardiff's first Poetry Festival

As an art form, poetry seems to have diminished in the popular mindset in recent years; it is often considered food for children or intellectuals. The beauty and form of poetic prose touches the deepest seat of human emotions ... Read more

Lenten Station Masses 2018

As we prepare to begin our journey through the Season of Lent, Archbishop George has announced the key dates for the annual Lenten Station Masses in different parts of the Diocese. Read more

Popular Lenten Lunches make a Welcome Return

As the Holy Season of Lent approaches our minds turn to the journey of encounter and change that we make as we prepare to enter into the mystery of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection at Holy Week. Read more

The Joy of Love celebrated at Cathedral

Tuesday 20th January 2018 was a day of immense celebration at Cardiff Cathedral as newly weds, and couples who have celebrated 25, 40 50 and 60 years of marriage gathered in joyful thanksgiving to celebrate the gift of Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love) in their live. Dr. James Campbell reports: Read more

Sisters of St Faustina’s Order to visit Diocese and talk on Divine Mercy

On Monday 26th February 2018, three parishes from the Archdiocese of Cardiff will play host to a Sister of Our Lady of Mercy for a Lenten Talk and period of prayer on the Divine Mercy. Read more

A Reflection for Lent

The Forty Days of Lent have a great biblical precedent, not least in the forty years the people of Israel wondered the desert in search of the Promised Land. The example for our own practice of “Quadragesima” lies in the forty days Jesus was in the wilderness before he undertook his public ministry. A time of discipline and preparation is important ... Read more

Lenten Journey marks the start of a transition for the new Elect of God

The First Sunday of Lent is an important one in the life of the Church. Together with Ash Wednesday it marks the beginning of that journey we all make in following Jesus to his Passion in Jerusalem, is death at Calvary and his Resurrection in the Easter Garden. Read more

Cornerstone appoints poet in residence

Over the weekend of 16th – 18th February 2018, Cornerstone in co-operation with Seren Books played host to Cardiff’s first, highly successful, poetry festival. In excess of 600 people attended the event featuring 18 poets including Monmouth’s Jonathan Edwards and well loved Poet Gillian Clarke. Read more

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus/Happy St. David’s Day

Today as we celebrate the Feast Day of our National Patron Saint, we may may be feeling slightly sorry for ourselves given the seemingly unending snowfall even managing to stop the Cardiff St. David Day parade. Read more

Fr. Jimmy Thomas R.I.P.

Notification .... Read more

Pope Francis establishes new Memorial to Mary, Mother of the Church

Earlier today the Vatican released a degree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline in the Sacraments formally announcing the addition of a new Memorial to the Roman Calendar. Read more

Archbishop talks life, faith and vocation on Catholic TV network

On Sunday 4th March 2018, Shalom World TV aired a segment entitled “Heart Talk”. The host questions a bishop in a ‘heart to heart’ interview about their background, their faith journey, their hopes and their fears in a very open and honest interview. The subject of this particular broadcast was our own Archbishop George Stack. Read more

Funeral Arrangements - Fr. Jimmy Thomas R.I.P.

Notification Read more

The message of Mercy visited Wales and fruits are beginning to show

“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good ... Read more

Today is Palm Sunday - This is Holy Week!

Today is Palm Sunday and marks the beginning of Holy Week 2018. The Blessing and distribution of Palms followed by the procession are dramatic re-enactments of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem ... Read more

Diocese gathers tomorrow for Mass of Chrism

The annual Diocesan gathering for the celebration of the Mass of Chrism and Renewal of Priestly Vows will take place tomorrow – Wednesday 28 March – at 11.30am at St. David’s Cathedral. Read more

The Sacred Triduum – Passing From Death To New Life

The drama of these three days opens with the sacramental sign which defines our religion. The Word of God made Flesh speaks a definitive word on the night before the sacrifice of his death ... Read more

It wasn’t nails that kept Jesus on the Cross …

We speak of Jesus as dying because of sin which he undertook to bear for all humanity. This explanation is true but it does not go far enough. The true cause of his death was love ... Read more

Holy Saturday: The day of God's concealment

This is Holy Saturday: the day of God’s concealment, the day of that unprecedented paradox we express in the Creed with the words “He descended into hell” ... Read more

Apostolic Exhortation: Gaudete et Exsultate

On Monday as the Church celebrated and reflected on the great mystery of ‘The Annunciation’ (the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary announcing that she was to conceive the Lord), Pope Francis released to the world his new Apostolic Exhortation ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’ (Rejoice and be Glad). Read more

The Good Shepherd calls his sheep and the sheep listen to his voice

Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter, often known as “Good Shepherd” Sunday because of the Gospel passage directed to be read during Mass on this day. It is appropriate that it is also designated as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations ... Read more

Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales statement on the case of Alfie Evans

“Our hearts go out to the parents of Alfie Evans and our prayers are for him and with them as they try to do all they can to care for their son ... Read more