Hundreds of pilgrims from the Nottingham Diocese and beyond attended the six days of the first major Visit of the 2017 Pilgrimage Tour. Here are some highlights of this inspiring event. (More photos of this event can be seen on St Barnabas Cathedral Photo Gallery under the heading “April 2017 – Our Lady of Guadalupe“.)
Friday 21 April
- A very warm welcome awaited Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Miraculous Relic Image in the afternoon. Priests and Knights of St. Columba (KSC) Brothers processed with Her into the beautiful Cathedral of St Barnabas. Father Kevin and the KSC officiated at the Unveiling and Placing of Our Lady’s Image on the altar. This was executed with great care and devotion.
- A joyful Mass was celebrated by Bishop Patrick McKinney as Principal Celebrant, who also gave a warm and moving homily
- Concelebrants were Dean Canon Geoffrey Hunton and the Cathedral Clergy, Provincial Chaplain to the Knights of Saint Columba, Chaplain to the University, Father David, Chaplain to the Pro-Life movement, assisted by Deacons Michael and David.
- Veneration for all followed Mass.
- More than 200 people from the Diocesan congregation, plus visitors and guests, had travelled from around the Midlands and further afield to be with us.
- The Guardians of the Shrine were represented by Andrew, Michael, Anne Marie, Dick and Mike.
- KSC Ron Lynch, Director and Past Supreme Knight, Richard Mitchell, Provincial Grand Knight and Brothers of Province 9 were present from 8 am throughout the day.
Saturday 22 April
- There were Pro-Life Day talks by Dr John Edwards on “The Life and Death of the Unborn Child” and by Professor Donal Foley on “Guadalupe, Fatima & Valuing Life – Then and Now”.
- There were showings of the film, “Bella”, a heart-warming story of how one day in New York saved an unplanned baby’s life.
- Two babies, Francis and Isaac, were baptised and consecrated to Our Lady in front of Her Image.
- A Service of Reparation took place for all those lost, those hurt and wounded, and those involved in abortion.
It was a moving and inspiring day attended by a large congregation that closed with Mass and with Veneration, the Rosary and prayers for life at 9.00 pm.
Sunday 23 April
- We were again joined by Bishop Patrick for the celebration of Mass and his personal Veneration time.
- Many hundreds came for Veneration throughout the day, including a small group of Mexican students who are attending Nottingham University.
- A Divine Mercy Service was held in the afternoon.
- The Chaplain to the Portuguese Community said a Mass in their native language in recognition of the Pilgrimage Visit.
Monday 24 April
- There were Visits from Parish groups who came on coaches from Coventry, Shipton, Birmingham, Grimsby, Loughborough and Market Harborough, as well as from many other individuals and small groups from within the Diocese.
- A Prayer Service by the Kerala Community was attended by nearly 250 people. They heard the Guadalupe story and sang the Hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe in their own language. The children placed many offerings of flowers before the Miraculous Image.
- Veneration continued until 9.30pm.
Tuesday 25 April
- Teresa and Anne from the Guardians’ School and Young Person Team were there for the Schools Morning, giving the Powerpoint and interactive lessons on the Story of Guadalupe in the Cathedral Hall and then leading veneration by the students in the Cathedral.
- Polish Community Mass in the evening was attended by a congregation of more than 450 and by four priests. The Polish Scouts formed a Guard of Honour for the Image.
- Canon Krzysztof gave a homily entitled “Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Pope John Paul”.
The accompanying music was provided by the Polish Choir and the Polish Students Music Group, including the Hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe in their native language.
- Veneration continued until nearly 11.00 pm.
Wednesday 26 April
On the final day, Wednesday, Father John Martin, Assistant Dean, led the Service of Return following morning Veneration and Mass.
- There were more than 150 people in the congregation to say good-bye. At the end of Mass, Father John returned the Miraculous Relic Image to the care of the Guardians.
- Guardian Andrew gave a short talk and reflection on the success and legacy of the Pilgrimage Visit.
- Canon Geoffrey, Dean of St Barnabas, and Richard Mitchell, Provincial Grand Knight Province 9, were presented by Guardian Michael with commemorative pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- Ron Lynch KSC was enrolled as an Honorary Guardian in recognition for his help and support during the Pilgrimage.
In addition to the above events, each day the Guardians gave a well-attended reflection on The Story of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Guadalupe and the history and miraculous nature of Our Lady’s Image.
Mention must be made of the guiding support and the professional response of the KSC team which ensured such a successful Pilgrimage Visit. The strength of organisational arrangements under the direction of Richard Mitchell, Provincial Grand Knight Province 9, supported by Ron Lynch, Director KSC and Past Supreme Knight, and many of the Brothers from within the Province, was truly impressive; the Knights were on hand from 8.00 am until the Cathedral closed each day.
We are truly grateful to them, the clergy and congregation of Nottingham Cathedral, and all who helped in this memorable Visit to Nottingham. (More photos of this event can be seen on St Barnabas Cathedral Photo Gallery under the heading “April 2017 – Our Lady of Guadalupe“.)