Bishop calls pilgrims to trust like Mary as diocese returns to Walsingham

Tuesday 10th May 2022

Hundreds of pilgrims from our diocese made a 400-mile round trip to England’s Nazareth this weekend to worship at the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham.

The visit was our first diocesan pilgrimage since the outbreak of the pandemic, and our first trip to Our Lady’s home in England since 2019.

The sun shone down as pilgrims began to fill Friday Market in the centre of the historic village on Saturday 7th May.

This year also welcomed our first two-day pilgrimage for young people, led by Salford Youth Ministry.

Celebrations began when Bishop John and our Spiritual Director for the pilgrimage, Fr Callum Brown, blessed the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham before leading around 500 pilgrims in procession along the Holy Mile, to the accompaniment of prayers and hymns.

Parishioners of all ages from right across our diocese took part in this age-old tradition as we made our way to the Catholic National Shrine and Basilica – home of the famous Slipper Chapel – before pilgrims regrouped for an outdoor Service of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Confession.

Bishop John was the joined by other members of our diocesan clergy as he celebrated Mass at the Basilica.

In his homily, Bishop John reminded us of the story of The Annunciation, and the example Our Lady set throughout her life in trusting in God, no matter how impossible life might seem.

Referring to a range of global crises; from the pandemic that is still impacting many around the world, the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine, poverty and economic injustice, Bishop John calls us – like Mary – to trust in the Lord, but to also play our part to bring about Christ’s desire for justice.

He said: “And we’re asked to trust in our turn, that God is in charge, no matter what seems to be happening around us. But trust can’t be that we sit back and say “God will sort this out”. No, we’ve got to take our place.

“Pope Francis is insistent: each and every one of us has our part to play. It may seem so often that what we do is so insignificant in terms of the world’s problems, but those are the acts which when they are added together do make an impact in our world.

“We mustn’t misjudge that. We have our place.”

Click here to read more about our Salford Youth Ministry pilgrimage.


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