Following the successful visit with the Miraculous Relic Image last year, Guardians Teresa and Barbara revisited Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre on 13 May 2019 to share in the Mass celebrated by fellow Guardian Fr Wayne Coughlin. They were warmly greeted on arrival by Pastor Lonnie Haye and taken to the chapel where a small group of residents was waiting.
The Relic Image was not present this year, but Our Lady of Guadalupe was represented by a Home Shrine at the altar, which Fr Wayne invited the residents to borrow and take to their room to use in private devotion. In his homily, he spoke of his joy in encountering an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a recent visit he made to Thornton College (a Catholic girls’ day and boarding school in Buckinghamshire) to represent Missio. He reminisced how the building reminded him in its layout and Gothic architecture of his days at St Mary’s College, Oscott (the seminary located in the Archdiocese of Birmingham). He reminded us that Our Lady is always with us when we feel alone or cut off from the world and always points us to her Son, Jesus. The residents were assured that although the Guardians would depart and that their time together in prayer would come to end, the intercession that Our Lady offers for us to her Son is constant.
After Mass, Guardians and residents joined in a Marian hymn and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. We all agreed that the short visit would bring many blessings to the residents and to the Guardians.