West London Catholic parishioner and councillor Patricia is New Lord Mayor of Westminster

On 2nd July, the new Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Patricia McAllister was welcomed during Matins at Westminster Abbey. Fr Michael Jarmulowicz, Parish Priest at Harrow Road and Paddington will serve as the new Lord Mayor’s Chaplain, and delivered the homily.

Patricia, a parishioner at Harrow Road, has been a councillor since 2009, representing Queen’s Park Ward, one of the most densely populated parts of Westminster. As Councillor, she advocates for residents, represents the local community, and facilitates community cohesion, notably helping set up the North Paddington food bank.

In his homily, Fr Michael spoke about this service, and in particular the charities which the Lord Mayor has chosen to support this year, the Passage and the Carers Network. The work these charities do ‘is a true example of Jesus’ command to “take up your cross and follow me.” What does that mean? It is not just passively accepting sufferings, but actively, like Simon of Cyrene, taking up the burdens of another to help them.’

Turning his attention to the Gospel reading, where Jesus proclaimed the beatitudes. Fr Michael asked what it means to be blessed or happy: ‘we get true deep down happiness or true blessedness when we recognise our true selves and therefore our dependence on God.’

‘Jesus came into this world to witness to the love of the Father, by taking our burdens on himself, and we in our turn should give that same witness, and as the last few words state: “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Let us pray that the City of Westminster will be that “City built on a hill” giving witness to caring for the poor and vulnerable.’

Photos: Westminster Abbey/Picture Partnership