Friends of Walsingham Occasional Paper
All pilgrims to the Shrine know the Knight’s Gate opposite to the Pilgrimage Church. As announced in a former “Occasional Paper”, this has been re-let and is now beautifully furnished and decorated and should be patronised by all visitors to the Holy House. Here, in season, luncheons, teas and morning coffee can be had, and – a speciality – delightful dinners are served by arrangement. Visitors can also be accommodated.
On Saturday, February 8th, our Bursar and Pilgrimage Secretary, Mr Stanley Smith, was married to Miss Monica Frary (his secretary) in St Mary’s Church, the wedding being followed by a Nuptial Mass. As both the bride and bridegroom are intimately connected with the Shrine and its work, the reception was held in the pilgrimage refectory, which was made to look very festive for the occasion; it was a happy, friendly wedding. At mid-day they went to the South Coast for their honeymoon.
Installation of a new Guardian: On Monday, June 9th, Fr Husbands of St James’ Wednesbury, was installed as a Guardian of the Shrine, there being a vacancy. This gives us another Guardian in the Midlands, and he has often brought his flock on pilgrimage. On official occasions member of the Chapter wear blue velvet mantles lined with scarlet silk, and the badge of office is a gold star worn on a black and white ribbon.
Death of a Guardian: The death of Father Raynes, till recently Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, has doubtless shocked many people for he was known and loved by thousands, not only in this country but in other parts of the world, particularly in South Africa for whose native population he had so great an affection. His last great work was a Mission to Dallas and Denver, USA in the Autumn of 1957. He had had several serious illnesses of recent years but he never spared himself, and after this Mission he collapsed and had to be flown home. The Administrator and the Bursar attended his funeral at Mirfield.
Whit Monday: Despite the inclement weather there was an attendance of between fourteen and fifteen hundred people for this great annual event. In spite of the downpour everyone seemed cheerful, but it is the helpers who bear the brunt on these occasions, carting chairs, carrying dishes of food, selling hymn sheets, etc while pilgrims can take shelter in the Shrine or the marquee. The rain stopped most opportunely a few minutes before the procession was due to start, this following a memorable sermon by the Reverend D N Chamberlin of the Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell. Coaches came as usual from London and many parts of the provinces.
Centenary: Eucharistic Congress Albert Hall, July 1 – 5:
“The Congress is not an isolated event. It marks the opening of our Centenary Year, which concludes in May 1959. The message of the Congress will be taken by teams of speakers to local Congress meetings which are to be held from April 27th to May 1st 1959 in most parts of the country . . . . . . The Centenary events end with a National Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Saturday, May 2nd 1959, when it is hoped that a special train from London and coaches from all parts of the country will bring thousands of our members together in a final act of thanksgiving.”
Mr Maitland [The Master of Lauderdale, MP], as President, adds this postscript to the Report:-
“Now the Centenary Year has arrived I hope we can at last shed the outlook of an embattled minority. We can thank God for wonderful blessings over the past 100 years including the now widespread recognition of the Catholic Revival. I propose to begin my celebration of the Centenary by a private pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Incarnation – the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham – on June 28th, to give thanks and to implore God’s blessings on all that we hope to try to do in His Name in the future. It would be most pleasing to see other men members of the CU there at the same time.”