Recovering from a holiday is never an easy task especially when one needs to organise moving house and attend and lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in now less than 48 hours. Thanks be to God for all the generous support I receive.
Jerusalem here we come, a group including a number of Ordinariate Catholics, maybe even the first Catholics from the Ordinariate to go there as a group.Jerusalemthat wonderful city, our feet nearly within your borders! You remind us of the heavenly Jerusalem, that Golden city that fills us with hope and joy. I pray and trust that God will bless our pilgrimage. I pray that our pilgrimage will enable us to be more intimate with the Risen Lord who hallowed that ground by his sacred footsteps. I pray and trust and hope that each pilgrim may experience a moment of blessing and come back maybe tired but full of zeal for the risen Lord! Please say a prayer for us; I will remember the followers of this blog at the holy sites.
Personally, this pilgrimage will be one of thanksgiving for that inestimable gift of the Catholic Priesthood, thanksgiving for the Holy Father and his Curia in their generosity towards Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church fulfilling the passion of many for this unity. It will be also in thanksgiving for the blessed years in Anglican ministry and for all those whom I had the joy of sharing this pilgrimage, even if now they cannot understand my personal journey. It will be in thanksgiving for all the roads and bye ways that led me to this present moment and a prayer for the gift of humility so that I may continue to be worthy to wash feet. It will be a moment of prayer and thanksgiving for my dear family especially Claudia, Domenico and Maria-Pia and friends, present and past. It will be a moment of intense prayer for our beloved Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, in his daunting task to lead us forward in faith, hope and love. It will also be a moment of prayer for three parishes. St John the Baptist Sevenoaks where I served as best as I could and which I still love, for St Thomas of Canterbury in Sevenoaks where I serve now and am privileged beyond all telling in serving the Ordinariate group and for St John the Baptist in Westerham where I am being called to serve on my return. It will be a pilgrimage of prayer for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham especially those members here in the Sevenoaks group. It will also be a pilgrimage of prayer and thanksgiving for Deacon James Bradley, for the joys of sharing this journey with such a fine young man.
I will try to keep you posted from the Holy Land if at all possible. I intend to do this to share where I have been praying for you and that you might be able to join us spiritually. I hope that our prayers will be beneficial to you and yours to us.
With all those images of the World Youth Day still fresh in our minds, with all the encouragement we have drawn from that, it is now time to proceed in peace to the Holy City while thinking especially of a fellow pilgrim who I think has already started his pilgrimage as he is joining us from the United States. O what a collision of joys it is going to be –LausDeo!