Some members of the Sevenoaks Ordinariate have spent the weekend on pilgrimage in Walsingham. Bishop Lindsay welcomed them very warmly as the first Ordinariate group of pilgrims to Walsingham. These pilgrims were joined by some others from the Anglican Parish of St John’s Sevenoaks. I think it was very good to share this pilgrimage. The pilgrims did together all the things they could. I am sure that they found this as a blessing. Mrs Williams, who organised the pilgrimage, will shortly write about this great experience.
While this pilgrimage took place I was on another pilgrimage. This time in Rome. For my family and myself this was a very significant pilgrimage just days after we were received in the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was also hugely significant as it was the beatification of John Paul II.
I have never seen as many people in my whole life. I felt so privileged to be part of that sea of people, from all over the world, especially from Poland (was anyone left at all in Poland?), all coming together as one to honour the memory and be the first to ask the intercession of Blessed John Paul II. He was a man close to Jesus, his eyes always fixed on his Master, and so people could see Christ in him. Through prayer John Paul II made himself invisible and Christ was seen. What an example! Cardinal Dzwiz, his friend and close collaborator since the mid 1950’s, speaks about the intimacy of John Paul II with Christ. That is where the heart of the matter lies. That is what this man that gave hope to so many continues to teach us today. This unity with Christ unites us wherever we come from, whatever our journey is. For a few hours this weekend the journey of so many people came together at the feet of Divine Mercy and being inspired by John Paul II. There was such a sense of peace and joy in Rome, it was just unbelievable. How fortunate to be part of the Catholic family, how blessed we are in Blessed John Paul II.