On 1st May Bishop Peter Collins led his first Diocese of East Anglia pilgrimage to Walsingham, with over 1000 pilgrims from around the diocese travelling to the Catholic National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady. The pilgrimage began outside the Church of the Annunciation in Little Walsingham, with the Regina Caeli and the Crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. Pilgrims then processed down the Holy Mile to the Basilica.
A Pontifical Mass was celebrated at the Basilica, led by Bishop Peter Collins. He gave a powerful homily and spoke about the need to shape our lives in a way that honours God and reflects His creative nature. He went on to say that this involves using our talents and abilities to craft a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, while also being mindful of the impact we have on the world and others around us. He said that to do this, we need to be discerning about the influences that shape us. Some will be positive, helping us to develop our talents and grow as individuals. Others may be negative, leading us astray or causing us harm. Also, that it is important to learn to distinguish between the two and make wise choices about the people and ideas we allow into our lives.
He continued by saying that we cannot undertake this work of shaping our lives in isolation. We are meant to be part of a community, drawing on the support and wisdom of family, friends and colleagues as we navigate life’s challenges. Through these relationships, we can learn to collaborate and cooperate with others, using our diverse skills and perspectives to make the world a better place.
He stated that technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives and that, while it has the potential to be a powerful tool for creativity and growth, we also need to be aware of its pitfalls. Some technologies can be addictive, isolating, or even dangerous, leading us away from God and our true purpose. It is essential to approach these tools with caution and discernment, using them to enhance our lives, rather than control them.
Finally, Bishop Peter concluded by saying that ultimately, our goal is to be faithful stewards of the world God has given us, using our creativity and productivity to build up rather than tear down. Through our work and relationships, we can participate in God’s ongoing work of redemption, bringing hope and healing to a broken world.
At the end of Mass, before the final blessing, Bishop Peter thanked the pilgrims for coming in such great numbers and delivered an exhortation, encouraging them to continue to come to the Nazareth of England. He revealed that following a recent Bishops’ Conference meeting, there would be a significant announcement. Although it is not yet the appointment of a new Rector for the Shrine, it will nonetheless be significant, and that an appointment will be made soon.
He urged everyone to pray earnestly for the wellbeing of the Shrine and declared that:
“as Guardian of the Shrine, there will be stability, there will be ever greater fruitfulness in the days to come, and all who would stand against that objective, have no place here. May the evil one be expunged in all his forms. Let us be certain in faith, joyful in faith, confident in the Lord’s grace.”
You can watch the full homily and exhortation below: