Celebrating his 15th Episcopal ordination anniversary, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, made a special visit to the National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady in Walsingham on Monday June 12.
The Archbishop was received with warmth and affection by Bishop Peter Collins and, accompanied by Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes, he was given a tour of the original site of the Holy House in the Abbey grounds. They later convened for Mass in the Basilica, where they were joined by Mgr Ervin Lengyel from the Nunciature, Fr Kevin Smith, the Administrator of the Anglican Shrine, and the resident priests.
The Rector of the Catholic National Shrine, Friar James Mary, extended a warm welcome: “We are so happy to welcome His Excellency, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, and to receive him with great love and affection as the representative of the Holy Father.”
In his homily, His Excellency, deeply moved by the warm reception, expressed his gratitude, stating: “Dear brothers and sisters, I am very blessed to be present with you today at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham for this celebration of the Holy Mass, and, in particular, to give thanks to God as I celebrate the 15th anniversary of my Episcopal ordination. I thank Bishop Peter and Bishop Emeritus Alan for their kind and gracious welcome to this Diocese of East Anglia.”
The Papal Nuncio also conveyed Pope Francis’ blessings: “I bring the blessing of His Holiness, Pope Francis, who desired to be close to you through my person.”
He went on to speak about his pastoral ministry: “When we are open to His call, and generous in following His path, He comforts and consoles us, especially in challenging times. I can share with you, that this has been the experience of my pastoral ministry, in all the places I have been called to work and serve. I confidently place my trust in God, at the beginning and at the end of each day. And I know for sure that He is always by my side, guiding every moment by His providence.”
Following the Gospel of the Sermon on the Mount, he said: “In following the Lord’s path, we are truly blessed. But what does the word blessed mean? Pope Francis helps us to understand in his Catechesis of the Sermon of the Mount: ‘To be blessed does not mean one with a full belly or one who is doing well, but rather it is a person who is in a condition of grace, who progresses in God’s grace and progresses on God’s path: patience, poverty, service to others, comfort. Those who advance in these things are happy and shall be blessed. […] In order to give Himself to us, God often chooses unthinkable paths, perhaps the path of our limitations, of our tears, of our defeats […] The Beatitudes always bring you to joy. They are the paths to reach joy. It will do us good to read the Beatitudes in order to understand this very beautiful path, so sure of the happiness the Lord offers us.’”
The Papal Nuncio concluded by reaffirming the importance of the Virgin Mary in our lives: “We are not alone, we have the constant help and companionship of the Virgin Mary. Today, she stands before us as the first among the saints, the first disciple of the Lord. We flee to her protection, and to her we present our sorrows and our joys, our fears and our aspirations. We put everything under her protection, in the sure knowledge that she watches over us and cares for us with a mother’s love. With these thoughts in mind, we ask our Mother Mary of Walsingham to continue to guide and protect us in our pilgrimage.”
At the end of Mass, the Nuncio was presented with a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham by the Rector. The Holy Mass, live-streamed by EWTN GB, Radio Maria GB and the Catholic National Shrine, reached a global audience and was well received.
The day concluded with a tour of the Shrine site, including a visit to the Slipper Chapel and Holy Ghost Chapel. The Nuncio enjoyed a shared lunch with Bishop Peter, Bishop Alan and other clergy of the Shrine.
Pictured above, from the left, are Bishop Peter Collins, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía and Bishop Alan Hopes.
Click here for a full picture gallery of the Nuncio’s visit.