Feast Day Mass – ‘I felt the peace and love of Christ!’

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When Deacon Kevin Ryan said, ‘Go in the peace and love of Christ’, I actually felt the peace and love of Christ!” said Shrine Coordinator Donna Gardner after the Feast Day Mass of our Lady of Guadalupe.

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There was a full church for the Mass, and Canon Seamus Keenan, Rector of the Shrine, and the Guardians would like to thank all who came and made it a happy and memorable occasion.

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Special thanks to the Most Reverend Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark and former Bishop of Northampton, who was the principal celebrant and preacher. He reminded us in his homily that we are called to ‘accompany’ people in life and to share their journeys on many levels. He also extolled the virtues of the visual image of Our Lady shared in this way.

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It was also lovely to have our own Bishop Peter with us to concelebrate. The Anglican Bishop of Bedford, Rev Richard Atkinson was also with us, as were the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and her husband, senior Knights of St Columba, other distinguished guests and many people who travelled from far and near to be present.

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Thanks also to the Knights of St Columba who looked after the parking and the guests, and to the altar servers directed by Fr Gerard Byrne. The flowers by the Relic Image were stunning, so thanks to Maureen Brewer and the flower arrangers; the music provided by Clare Moubarak and the AMDG music group added an extra dimension to the liturgy, so thanks to them, to our photographer Kieron Rentle, and last but not least to Mary Frost and the catering team for the reception where we were able to socialise over plentiful and delicious food.

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May the peace and love of Christ and the blessings received from Our Lady of Guadalupe remain with us this Christmas and always.