A New Year's Message from the Priest Administrator
At the beginning of a New Year, I send you greetings from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Celebrating my first Christmas in Walsingham has been a great joy and privilege. The Shrine Church was packed with people of all ages from the village and surrounding area for the Crib Service on Christmas Eve, and it was good to have the opportunity to meet them and to welcome them to the Shrine. Later, at the Solemn Vigil Mass of the Nativity of the Lord at the High Altar, and then the Mass of the Dawn in the Holy House, there was a real sense of the awe and wonder of the mystery of the Incarnation which we honour day by day in England’s Nazareth.
The Christmas Crib has been a focus of devotion for a steady stream of pilgrims and visitors during the Octave, and with its lovely figures it looked beautiful, despite being framed by internal scaffolding under the Lantern Tower!
I’m glad to say that the repairs to the Lantern will soon be completed and the scaffolding removed, though it has been remarkable how little disruption the works have caused. I am grateful to the contractor Ian Bygrave of Draper Nicolls and his team for the excellent work they have done and the professional way in which they have done it.
2017 begins with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and we seek Mary’s prayers as in the coming weeks and months major changes unfold on the national and international scene.
The needs of our nation and the peace of the world are amongst the petitions offered every day in Walsingham at Shrine Prayers. Such prayers are an essential part of the work and witness of the Shrine, where we celebrate the eternal truth that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”
Amongst the complexities and uncertainties of life, it is faith in the living God, who through the Incarnation of His Son came to share in our humanity, which gives us the hope, and moves us with the love, upon which all prayer is founded.
May our devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, Our Lady of Walsingham, deepen this faith, hope and love within us. Please pray for the Shrine and all who work here, and I look forward to welcoming you and all pilgrims to England’s Nazareth in the coming year.
Your friend and fellow pilgrim,
Fr Kevin Smith
A Letter from the former Master of the
Guardians (The Bishop of Chichester) and the former Administrator (Bishop Lindsay Urwin) regarding the
creation of the Ordinariate.
Click here to
read and/or print.