Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Im getting ready to do some more walking. Over the past couple of weeks, my in-box has had lots of lovely pics from the young John Paul Walkers thats the team that did the 2012 John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage for the New Evangelisation organised by the excellent Dominican Sisters of St Joseph, based in Hampshire. I took part in this pilgrimage three days of walking, starting at Bury St Edmunds and covering some 20 miles a day to finish at the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. It was glorious! Walsingham is about six miles from the sea, and Norfolk in August sunshine was fabulously beautiful. The breezes kept us cool, the sun shone on mellow golden cornfields, and there was Mass in the ruins of Castleacre Priory, celebrated by priests of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and with all the strong young voices singing...it all just gladdened the heart.

Now we are ready for a reunion. As the Pilgrimage finished, with Benediction at the parish church in Walsingham village about a mile from the Shrine, and then drinks at the pub, we all agreed that we must meet up again...but a formal reunion, sitting round a table for a meal, never works. So well do a Reunion Walk and anyone and everyone is warmly invited to share it with us. Its on Sunday October 28th, and will start with the 10.30am Sung Mass at Westminster Cathedral. Well walk from there to the Thames, and then along the river. Itll be a 20-mile walk. Walkers should bring sandwiches, and a rosary, and wear suitable clothing for an October day ( translated, that means: it might rain!). Im organising Tea etc at our final destination, where of course well also have Evensong, and Benediction., As with the Walk to Walsingham, our chaplain will be from the Ordinariate. And well be praying for the New Evangelisation of our country.

The week before, on Saturday October 20th, theres another opportunity for walking. This is a much shorter walk, but a more powerful one. There will be a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, from Westminster Cathedral, across Lambeth Bridge, to St Georges Cathedral Southwark. It will be led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. It starts at 2.15pm and will finish at St Georges with Benediction.

This Procession was initiated last year, 2011, to mark the first anniversary of the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain, and to honour the first-ever Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman. It all went wonderfully - over 1,000 people took part, the Knights of St Columba acted as stewards and ensured that all went smoothly, we prayed the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, and the sight of that great crowd surging across Lambeth Bridge was unforgettable. So this year, the Procession is being held again. It is, incidentally, exactly 100 years since a great Eucharistic Congress was held in London (1912) but a procession was not possible in those days. Now, in the 21st century, London can have the Blessed Sacrament brought through its streets and needs it.

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