The farewell Mass took place on Sunday February 5. Mgr Moger is now Auxiliary Bishop-Elect for the Archdiocese of Southwark and is preparing to take up his new responsibilities.
He came to Walsingham in September 2020, for a five-year-appointment, but the plan changed when Pope Francis decided last November on his appointment to the Archdiocese of Southwark.
“Leaving Our Lady’s National Shrine to become a Bishop wasn’t part of my plans,” writes Mgr Philip, “but then, doesn’t Our Lady of Walsingham teach us always to be open to the new thing God might want us to do? Of course, what God asked of her was unique, beyond compare, and of vital importance; but, doesn’t God ask of us each day to do things – however small – to help build his kingdom, and give glory to His name? None of us can say that we’re too small or insignificant to play a part in God’s plan. And if we don’t, who will?”
Speaking of his move further south, Bishop Peter said: “I wish to express sincere gratitude to Mgr Philip Moger, Auxiliary Bishop-Elect for the Archdiocese of Southwark, as he prepares to conclude his tenure as Rector of the Catholic National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady in Walsingham.
“Mgr Moger has served as Rector for the past three years, moving to Walsingham from his home diocese of Leeds. Alongside his diocesan duties, Monsignor Moger has been a most faithful and talented servant of the Catholic Church in England and Wales for many years, contributing greatly on the national level to the liturgical and spiritual wellbeing of the Church.
“On behalf of the Diocese of East Anglia, I offer thanksgiving for the immense contribution of Mgr Moger to the ongoing development of the National Shrine and its mission. We note, in particular, the recent decision to designate the celebration of Our Lady of Walsingham as a National Feast in England. Bishop-Elect Philip has ever been, and will ever be, a true and most caring Pastor of the Flock.
“Whilst we are sad to see him leave the sacred precincts of Walsingham, we entrust him with great confidence into the realm of his future episcopal ministry. Our Holy Father Pope Francis, as Vicar of Christ, has chosen Fr Philip to assist Archbishop Wilson in the vineyard of South London and Kent. We offer Bishop-Elect Philip the firm assurance of our prayers during these days of transition, and we entrust his future ministry to the loving embrace of Our Lady of Walsingham.”
Pictured above are (left to right) Bishop Peter Collins, Bishop-Elect Philip Moger and Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes at the final Mass (image: Norman Servais)