Saturday 8th October 2016
Since the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman an official visit to his shrine was perhaps overdue. This ommission was put right this weekend with a wonderful pilgrimage drawing Ordinariate members from all across Great Britain to Birmingham. The proceedings began with Evensong and Benediction in St Chad's Catholic Cathedral; any worries about how many people would arrive in time for the Friday evening event were quelled as the printed orders of service began to run out! Some 130 people heard the Cathedral choir lead the worship with some of the great treasures of our musical patrimony - Stanford in C and Bullock's Give us the wings of faith. A jovial reception followed, allowing the early arriving pilgrims to catch up with old friends and meet new ones - a process that continued in the hotel bar later on.
On Saturday morning pilgrims continued to join the gathering and at midday some 300 people were present in the Oratory church for a Solemn pilgrim Mass according to Divine Worship - the Ordinariate's distinctive form of the Roman Rite. The magnificent liturgy was enhanced by beautiful singing and organ playing from Alexandra Lloyd and Fr Mark Elliott-Smith. Mgr Newton's homily can be read elsewhere on the website. After Mass the pigrims had the opportunity to venerate the relic of Blessed John Henry Newman and make a visit to the shrine chapel.
Following lunch a crowded hall heard lectures by the Rev'd Doctor Stephen Morgan and by the Provost of the Oratory, Fr Ignatius Harrison. Recordings of the these talks can be found at the Portal Magazine site. The weekend proved a great success and it is hoped that visits to the shrine will become a regular part of the life of the Ordinariate.
Some more photographs on the event can be found on the Ordinariate Flickr pages and more will be added in the near future.