Monday, October 25, 2010

EUROPE: ENGLAND: ROSARY PROCESSION THROUGH LONDON


IND. CATH. REPORT: Exactly a month after the arrival of the Holy Father in Britain, the Jubilee Crusade once again took religion into the public square last Saturday. The 25th procession through London was led this year by the Abbot of Farnborough, Dom Cuthbert Brogan, OSB, assisted by Abbot Philip Lawrence of the Abbey of Christ in the Desert, New Mexico and Prior Christian of the same monastery. There were also two 25 year-old junior professed monks from Farnborough Abbey, two priests from the Fraternity of St Peter, a couple of Southwark priests, six members of the Order of Malta, two Knights of Our Lady, six Brothers of the Little Oratory and assorted clergy servers and flower girls all ably marshaled by the Crusade MC, Gordon Dimon. The Crusade began with three cheers for Pope Benedict before the Abbot of Farnborough intoned the Credo to begin the praying of the Holy Rosary. Through the busy streets of Westminster, Knightsbridge and Kensington, a vast throng of over 2,000 Faithful made quite an impact on the crowds of shoppers. The Crusade began in brilliant sunshine beside Westminster Cathedral and made its way to Brompton Oratory with its new chapel to Blessed John Henry Newman. Hymns to our Lady charmed the shoppers on fashionable Sloane Street, Knightsbridge and Brompton Road. As we passed Knightsbridge Underground Station, a well dressed young man asked leave to join the procession. The members of the Catholic Police Guild, led by Tony O’Brien, shouldered the bier carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima surrounded by a sea of flowers. The procession took a full hour to travel the mile and a half between the two great churches. As the procession entered Knightsbridge, a short rain shower tried to dampen enthusiasm, but the Lourdes hymn kept spirits high and many of the pilgrims waived their hymn books in imitation of the handkerchiefs waived during the processions at Fatima. Our Lady was met at the door of the Oratory by Fr Ronald Creighton-Jobe, chaplain to the Crusade, along with a team of more Brothers of the Little Oratory. The servers, flower girls, Brothers of the Little Oratory, Knights of Malta, Knights of Our Lady, clergy and the statue waited outside the Church while the Faithful found seats inside, if they could—the vast Church was packed. Then a grand procession made its way to the Sanctuary while 2000 voices sang the beautiful hymn, Hail Queen of Heaven. The procession might be over, but the praying wasn’t – many hymns, prayers, a reading from the Apocalypse and a fine sermon from the Abbot of Farnborough was crowned by Solemn Pontifical Benediction given by the Abbot. The Faber hymn, Faith of Our Fathers ended the Crusade proper which was followed by enrolment in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A wonderful day!

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