Two coaches, one from St Mary’s Dunstable and St Joseph’s Luton and the other from Our Lady, Help of Christians, Luton attended this annual pilgrimage.
The Joyful and Luminous mysteries of the Holy Rosary were prayed on the outbound journey.
The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham was established in 1061. In 1934 the Slipper Chapel was declared to be the National Shrine of Our Lady for Catholics in England.
The day was led by Fr David Donoghue a priest in Northampton. Fr Jeremy Davies who inaugurated the pilgrimage about forty years ago was unable to attend this year as he was recovering from a recent operation.
At the shrine, the pilgrimage started with the Angelus and Holy Mass. In his homily Bishop Mark Davies of the Shrewsbury Diocese emphasised the importance of the witness of Christians for the Sanctity of Human Life. He realised that such witness often faced hostility, but reassured us that we know that we are guaranteed to prevail in the end.
After a picnic lunch pilgrims could visit the Slipper Chapel or participate in Eucharistic Adoration. The formal worship continued with the Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Litany of Life, Benediction and three decades of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary followed by the Holy Mile walk in complete silence as an Act of Reparation for sins against life in Union with the Passion of our Lord. In the Abbey grounds the Sorrowful mysteries were completed together with other prayers.
On the homeward journey the Glorious Mysteries were prayed concluding an inspirational and very rewarding day.
Date for your diary – Next years Pilgrimage will be held on Saturday 6th August 2022, led by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth Diocese.