Today is the Solemnity of St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory. Our small community will join our brethren in Oxford for the visit of Cardinal Burke this evening. But we couldn't leave York without having our own morning Mass for the novices at St Philip's Altar.
Quite a few parishioners have gone to Lourdes with the Middlesbrough Diocesan Pilgrimage. Theresa Caddy has sent us this photograph with the Bishop. There were quite a few petitions in the box so they have some prayers to say.....
St Wilfrid's Parish enjoyed a lovely visitation from our Bishop, Terence Patrick. On Saturday afternoon he visited some of the sick around the parish, as far out as Linton-on-Ouse. Elsie Lyon's cat refused to pose for a better shot. This morning the Bishop celebrated and preached at the 8.30am and 10.30am Masses and met the people. At the 12 noon Latin Mass he sat on the Bishop's Throne in choir and preached. (We think we got the ceremonial right!)
Visitors to the church will have noticed the new statues in the baptistery and on the altar steps. At least, they are new to St Wilfrid's. They have been in the Poor Clares' monastery in Lawrence Street for 140 years and have been given to us by the nuns now they have moved to their new house at Askham Bryan. We are very grateful to the sisters for their generosity.
The altar of the Sacred Heart was in the church and may be familiar to some people. The statues of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Pietà are probably less well-known as they were in the cloister of the monastic enclosure.
The statues have already attracted a lot of prayerful devotion. We will use the Immaculate Conception statue in May and in December.
If these devotional images seem to fit very well here we should not be surprised. The plinth, altar and niches were designed by George Goldie, the architect of St Wilfrid's, only a few years after St Wilfrid's was opened in 1864. Goldie built a number of other churches in the diocese, including the old cathedral, and a number of churches in Ireland. His practice was in York; he was a parishioner here; and his daughter was one of the first nuns in Lawrence Street. So perhaps these statues were a labour of love. It is right that they should be kept in York.
We often welcome visitors and pilgrims from home and abroad, but we had special pilgrims today from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Chair of St Peter in Texas. About forty parishioners with their priests are on pilgrimage to places of Catholic devotion in England and Ireland and have come to York to venerate our own St Margaret Clitherow. They have their own magnificent Church and Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston. In the photo below are the Pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham, Fr Chuck Hough IV with his wife Lindsay and daughter Caroline and his parents, Fr Chuck Hough IV and Mrs Marilyn Hough. Welcome to York.
This year's pilgrimage for St Margaret Clitherow and the York Martyrs will be on Saturday, 9th May. We will be joined by members of the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom.
Fr Richard will give a talk in the Bedern Hall at 11.30am on the history of Christian York. There will be a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 1.30pm, followed by a procession at 3.00pm taking in St Margaret's House in the Shambles and the site of her martyrdom on Ouse Bridge. The day will end with Benediction back in St Wilfrid's at 3.45pm.
Congratulations to Sheelagh Fitzgerald who celebrated her 70th birthday (can we believe it?) on Thursday. There was a Mass for her and the other York Franciscan tertiaries at Askham Bryan on Friday. Many happy returns, Sheelagh. Thank you for all your work with the parish finances and welcoming parishioners and visitors to our services.
The Rectory garden was open again on Saturday, 11th April, and a good number took advantage of the fine weather to see the spring flowers, the magnolia just past its best and the tulips coming into bud. Parishioners provided tea and excellent cakes. Many thanks to the kind person who wrote to the York Press. The garden will be open again on Saturday, 2nd May from 12 noon until 4pm. Until then here are some photographs.The sun was shining, but the wind was a bit cold, so some visitors had their tea in the Fathers' refectory. Others had theirs outside. The gardening team...