Monday, May 18, 2009

Fatima Comes to Balham

On Saturday we had a 'Day with Mary' in the parish. The organisers arrived before 8am and worked hard to get everything ready in time for the first part of the day which was a May Procession round the Square. The police kindly came and stopped the traffic for five laps of the Square as the pilgrims prayed both the Joyful and the Sorrowful Mysteries.
After the Procession I celebrated Holy Mass and preached on the theme of "Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit" which I thought appropriate both given the dedication of the Church and also the fact that we are now looking towards Pentecost. At the end of the Mass I led the people in a special Consecration of the Parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There was then a break for lunch followed by a Blessed Sacrament Procession and a period of Adoration. The remaining Mysteries of the Rosary were prayed in the afternoon and there was also a chance for anyone so wishing to be enrolled into the Scapular of Mt Carmel. Finally the day closed just in time for our evening Mass with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima being carried in procession out of the Church as the people sang "O Fatima farewell".
About two hundred and fifty joined us for the Day with Mary including some of our own parishioners. Confessions were heard throughout and I am especially grateful to the eight priests who made themselves available to help with Confessions. These pilgrimages are great opportunities for people to seek reconciliation with God and I know that the priests who hear Confessions are always impressed by the fact that the Lord uses them to crack quite a few 'hard cases'!

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