1100 pilgrims attend East Anglia Walsingham Pilgrimage

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1100 pilgrims attend East Anglia Walsingham Pilgrimage

On Monday May 6, Bank Holiday Monday, the Diocese of East Anglia held its annual pilgrimage to the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, attended by around 1100. It was led by Bishop Peter Collins, Bishop of East Anglia, and accompanied by Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes, former Bishop of the Diocese.

The pilgrimage began at noon at the Friday Market Place, Walsingham, in front of the Church of the Annunciation. Pilgrims were led in the ‘Regina Caeli’, followed by Bishop Peter crowning the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. The pilgrims then embarked on a procession down the Holy Mile, a privilege to this diocese, praying the Rosary en route to the Shrine.

At the Shrine, pilgrims participated in the Service of Reconciliation and had the opportunity for confessions in the Chapel of Reconciliation and around the Shrine grounds, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed for veneration.

The Pontifical Mass, held at 3pm, was celebrated by Bishop Peter, accompanied by Bishop Emeritus Alan, Fr Robert Billing, Rector of the Shrine and other clergy.

In his homily, Bishop Peter reflected on the profound faith of Our Lady: “When Mary gave her yes to God’s invitation to become mother, one can envisage her saying her affirmative response in the quietest of voices. And yet it was a true affirmation of the spirit that she gave to the invitation – definitive, complete.

“In this, she, the Mother of the Church, teaches every disciple of the Lord to follow the same path to ponder. That is our first duty, to ponder the wonders of the Lord, then, by listening, to grow in faith day by day, building the momentum of faith throughout our lives. It is a great responsibility, but it is also a great joy.”

Then, prompting us to reflect on our own lives, he went on to say: “There are times, though, when we will need a quieter approach and we must learn the quiet response. For life is full of joy and sorrow, challenge and struggle. A time, then, to sing out and a time for quiet though determined affirmation. Let Mary be our example in this. Let us ponder, let us listen. And thus let us grow in faith.”

In closing, speaking about the role of the young in the Church, he said, “Earlier, we welcomed our young people who are preparing for their Confirmation. It will be my honour and my joy to anoint them with the sacred Chrism. They have given great witness over these past days to the faith that they possessed, and they have shown great enthusiasm for what awaits them.”

See below for the full photo gallery.

Diocese Pilgrimage, Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, May 2024