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Cardinal leads National Dowry Pilgrimage to Walsingham

posted on 14 September 2004
Between 2,500 and 3,000 people thronged the National Shrine at Walsingham for the Annual Dowry Pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady on Sunday, 12th September. Joining Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor in the celebration of Mass were the local Ordinary, Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia, Bishop Tom Burns, the Ordinary to the Forces, and Bishop Alan Hopes, Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Westminster. In his homily the Cardinal recalled his first visit 51 years ago when, with fellow seminarians, he walked the Holy Mile barefoot praying the rosary for the conversion of England and for the spread of the Gospel.

The Cardinal also recounted the first national pilgrimage to the Shrine of Walsingham 70 years ago and the comment made in The Times which was, at that time, amazed at the crowds of people who came: To such Shrines as that of Walsingham, people brought the intenseness of their grief and their gladness, the bitterest of their repentance and the purest of their endeavour. Such ground cannot but be holy; and it is good to think that the holiness of the holy land of Walsingham is once more recognised and honoured. 'Today' the Cardinal said, 'we pray, too, for our Dioceses, caught up as each Diocese is in the new struggles, new efforts, for creativity, for new life, for new ways of living at a deeper level the Gospel of Jesus Christ….. The Church in our country has many challenges, but I am confident that if we face them together - bishops, priests, religious, lay people - then we need have no fear. Why do I say that? Because, the Lord is with you; the Lord is with us. It is not our work; it is His work and it is His path. It is His strength that we need in order to fulfil in our own discipleship the command of Jesus to follow Him, to follow His ways, to be open to His truths and to receive His life.'
Notes:
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posted on 14 September 2004

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