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Thousands join Filipino Walsingham pilgrimage

Around 2000 pilgrims joined the annual Filipino Catholic Palm Sunday Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday March 25.

The annual pilgrimage started in 2011 with just two communities – Norwich and Ipswich – headed by Father Norlan Julia, a Filipino Jesuit priest who studied for his doctoral degree in Theology from the University of London.

During his studies he ministered to migrant Filipino communities all over UK. After he finished his course, and before going back to the Philippines, he assigned six couples from Norwich and counterpart couples from Ipswich to be the coordinators for the yearly pilgrimage and from then on the tradition has kept on going.

Mary Rose Comia, a parishioner from St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, said: It is astonishing to witness how the number of pilgrim grows in number throughout the years in this solemn participation in fellowship for Christ. This year was the eighth annual pilgrimage and the biggest so far, attended by around 2,000 pilgrims from over 30 communities as far as Oxford, London, Frimley, Dudley, North Shields and Lincolnshire.

The pilgrimage, which started from the Station of the Cross at the Anglican Shrine, processed to the Walsingham Catholic National Shrine, ended with the blessing of the palms and the Holy Mass.

During the event, pilgrims were welcomed by Father Andreas in the Anglican Shrine and Monsignor Armitage of the Walsingham Catholic National Shrine.

Mary Rose said: It has been an opportunity for all of us to rekindle our love for our Lord and strengthen our faith in Him.