British Pilgrims entering the Cathedral at Chartres

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

How was Your Pilgrimage?

Fr Anthony Mary, Alpine Redemptortist, Papa Stronsay
Fr Martin Edwards, PP St Mary Magdalene, Southwark
Fr Gerard Byrne, PP St. Brendan's, Corby, Northampton  

The British Pilgrims have returned triumphantly from France, good weather resulting in an overwhelming majority of the Pilgrims being able to complete the whole of the gruelling 70 mile walk!  Pontifical Mass in Chartres Cathedral, celebrated by the auxillary Bishop of Nanterre, Mgr Brouwet (in the presence of the bishop of Chartres, Mgr Pansard) was it's usual magnificent self.  The Cathedral was packed and the British Chapters found themselves the first chapters not to get in the Cathedral.  Tantalisingly close!!  However, we had a great view of the large screens at the front of the Cathedral and the processions of banners and clergy.  We were also given the privilege of meeting the Bishop of Chartres (wearing his purple for the first time) who came over to express his opinion that his Cathedral was the most beautiful in the world; a sentiment to which the British Pilgrims heartily agreed!  A refreshing meal in a local restaurant and a good night's rest in a local hotel completed the day for the London bound pilgrims.  The next day, we had 5 Low Masses in the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral, one for each of our 5 priests who were staying overnight.  At the time of our group Mass (9:15 am) it was heartening to witness a further 3 Masses at the same time in adjoining chapels--one for Fr Withoos, chaplain to St Edward's Chapter, one for the Canadian Pilgrims, and one for the Irish Pilgrims.  The Sacristan was kept very busy and did an admirable job.  A relaxing few hours viewing the Cathedral or having a coffee in the square precipitated the relatively unremarkable return to London where goodbyes were said on the Piazza of Westminster Cathedral at about 8 PM.  Photos to follow.

How was your pilgrimage?  Please use the comments box to let us know! Feedback on improvements or things which went particularly well this year are also appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. We had a great time in St Edward's Chapter with Fr Withoos and many young Americans. (And Fr W. wangled for us to get into the Cathedral, as the Americans had travelled so far and it was the first time for most of them - I would have stayed outside, as a Brit, of course, but felt my duty as Chef de Ch. meant I should be with them....)

    Thanks for organising it all - no improvements spring to mind: unless you can get hold of those little transmitter and receiver kits Fr. W. used to replace the loud hailers: truly fantastic - first time I've heard every word of every meditation - and no amplified voices booming everywhere.