Bishop Decan Lang (Diocese of Clifton):
“The number of medieval churches dedicated to St Mary is a sign of the devotion the people of England have had to the Mother of God. Pilgrimages to Walsingham also show the desire of people to share the ‘yes’ of Mary to the will of God. As we Rededicate England to the Dowry of Mary, we show how Mary’s belief in the promises of God still inspire the Churches Mission to the wider world, trusting in God and opening ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Bishop Paul Swarbrick (Diocese of Lancaster):
“In St.Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster, on Sunday 29th March, I will formally take my part in the National Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary. This will take place within the Mass Liturgy at 10.30am. Unfortunately, we do not have the facility to live-stream the occasion, but that will take nothing away from the relevance or efficacy of this act of piety.
When the Bishops of England and Wales met in November 2017 and decided on this Re-dedication they could not possibly have envisaged the circumstances within which it would take place. That is possibly a very good thing because, if they had, they might well have been tempted to choose some other date when the country was less troubled.
As it is, we are living at a time of national emergency within a global crisis. Our Catholic Faith is designed to cope with such times. When all around is utterly uncertain we fall back on the utter certainty of the Gospel, the Good News, the saving love of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. When we are anxious about ourselves and loved ones, and in many instances not even allowed to visit our aged parents, the priorities of life -what really matters to us – are made very clear.
I see it as no coincidence that we make this act of Rededication now, in this way. God knew it would come, and Our Lord wanted us to be given again to His own Mother, ‘Woman, behold your child; child, behold your Mother.’
No ‘quick fix’ is expected. We are set to remain in these distressing times for a good while to come. We must adapt to a new way of living. We have been shaken, and continue to be tested. Mary re-assumes her prominence in the life of England, England’s Dowry, England’s true rose. Present to and with Her children we will come through this safely. Life may suffer, but eternal life is beyond the reach of CORVID-19.
The Government advises us to ‘Stay at home; protect the NHS; save lives.’ Jesus instructs us, ‘Make your home in Me as I make My home in you.’ His home will always have Mary at its heart. We will willingly stay in this home.
We will pray for all who form our wonderful NHS, commending them to the protection and prayers of our Blessed Lady. We will also be mindful of those who are of service to our spiritual well-being, parents, teachers, clergy and religious.
We will dedicate ourselves to corporal works of mercy in order to enhance and protect lives, especially those most vulnerable, amongst whom we must count the unborn children. On top of this, we will dedicate ourselves to the spiritual works of mercy, making every effort to save souls, especially those in most need of God’s mercy.
With my prayers and blessing at this time for all who read this message and stand in need of Grace.”
Bishop Robert Byrne CO (Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle):
“The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary is a great opportunity for the Catholic community in England to reflect on our rich Catholic heritage.
Mary has long been honoured and loved in our land. It was St John Henry Newman who said that our depth of devotion to the Mother of God is a sign of the love we have for her Son. I pray that this Act of Dedication will be an opportunity for a new evangelisation of our nation and especially for a deepening of devotion to Our Lady.
Although we are unable to celebrate as we would wish due to the Covid-19 pandemic this should give us a greater confidence in her prayers. The faithful have always turned to her in time of need as we do today. Although we are physically separated we can come together in faith to give ourselves to Jesus and Mary and to ask for the graces we need at this time.”
Bishop Alan Williams SM (Diocese of Brentwood):
“This coming Sunday- very aware of the uniquely challenging conditions facing our country- I will join in the Rededication of our land to our Blessed Lady.
‘God so loved the world that he sent his only Son’ (John 3.16) – the love of a mother is so easily filled with the grace of God yet the mother of Jesus was also his greatest disciple. Mary’s faith is the perfect response to God’s good news of salvation.
I pray that, despite our hardness of heart and so many obstacles, Mary’s courage and example will redirect our gaze towards her Son- ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12.2). Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.”
Bishop David Oakley (Diocese of Northampton):
“The oldest known prayer to the Virgin Mary is the Sub tuum praesidium, ‘Beneath Thy Protection”. From ancient times, Christians have known Mary as their Mother, given to us by the dying Jesus from the Cross. How appropriate, that during these days of virus pestilence, the Church should once again turn to her Mother and seek the powerful intercession of the Theotokos, the Mother of God. I will hold the Rededication service in the Cathedral this Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm.”
Bishop Mark Davies (Diocese of Shrewsbury):
“When we invited you to share in the rededication of England to the Mother of God, the bishops didn’t foresee that March 2020 would be a time of national and global crisis. However, the Lord did foresee this troubled hour to be the very moment we must together renew this entrustment. It was, of course, at another moment of national crisis that England was first entrusted by its monarch to be the Dowry of Mary, Our Lady’s own possession, so that we might be a people in whose hearts the joy of the annunciation would never fade. We are all aware of the dangerous vacuum that has opened up in British society and the urgent need to reclaim the great heritage of Christian faith and morality that formed the very foundation of our nation. This was the spiritual crisis which first prompted the call to renew our nation’s dedication on Sunday. The global pandemic that has seen the closure of church doors and the isolation of so many across the land is another moment of spiritual crisis which leads us to entrust once more all our people to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It seems Our Lord also foresaw we could not come together in great gatherings this Sunday, so are invited to personally to renew this rededication in each one of our hearts. In Shrewsbury Diocese, I proposed we do this by praying the Angelus prayer with special fervour. This is something we can all do at 8.00 am, 12.00 Noon and 6.00 pm amid the unprecedented circumstances of national lockdown and self-isolation. Through this wholehearted prayer across the land from Saturday evening to Sunday evening, may our nation be re-claimed by so greater a love and may the unfading joy of the Annunciation be renewed amid all the shadows and anxieties of this time. Let us all be united in this prayer! The prayer of Entrustment will be prayed across the Diocese. I will lead the prayers from the Cathedral after 8.30 am and 10.45 am Mass.”
Bishop Richard Moth (Diocese of Arundel & Brighton):
“This is a wonderful day for this country as we re-dedicate this land as the Dowry of Mary. Even though celebrations may be a little hampered by the present situation, we can still – wherever we may be – join in prayer and thanksgiving for the continuing intercession of Mary our Mother for each and every one of us. She who is the Comforted of the Afflicted is especially close to us in these difficult times.”
Bishop Mark O’Toole (Diocese of Plymouth):
“It is wonderful that the re-dedication of England as Mary’s dowry is still going ahead, amidst the global pandemic, and how desperately we need Our Lady’s protection and intercession, at this time in our history. Catholics in this country, and across the globe, have always looked to Our Lady in times of trouble. We look more urgently to her now. Her ‘Yes’ to the Lord, inspires us to deepen our faith, and our dependence upon, God. I encourage all our people to make the re-dedication in their homes, and allow Our Lady of Walsingham to be there with them, giving the peace and courage she so desires for us all. I am sure that this re-dedication will be a moment of great blessing for us all.”
Bishop Marcus Stock (Diocese of Leeds):
“At this time, due to the necessary restrictions we all face, many within the Church are unable to receive Our Lord’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion. The personal dedication which we will make on Sunday 29th March will, in a very unique way, allow us to unite our Acts of Spiritual Communion together to Our Lady’s ‘Yes’ at the Annunciation and with joy await His birth through grace in our hearts.
Through the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham, may the Lord Jesus Christ protect England, her Dowry, and come to the help of its people, especially the sick and those who are suffering, in their time of need.”
Bishop Ralph Heskett (Diocese of Hallam):
“I am looking forward to leading the priests, religious and lay-faithful of the Diocese of Hallam in the re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary on Sunday. A gift often reveals the heart of the giver and the relationship between the giver and the one gifted. King Richard’s gift of England as Mary’s Dowry reveals his great love for Mary and his trust in her guidance and protection. Now as an expression of our love for Mary and trust in her motherly protection we make a personal promise and as a people we re-dedicate England as the Dowry of Mary. Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.”
Rt Rev Keith Newton (Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham):
“The revival of devotion to Our Lady in her ancient shrine of Walsingham after its destruction and centuries of neglect reminds us that, whatever dark times come, God remains faithful and Our Lady and the saints continue to intercede for us. At this time of great difficulty for our country we are blessed that plans were already in place for a great act of re-dedication of ourselves and of our nation to Mary’s protection. Prayer must be the most important weapon in our armoury.
The re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary on Sunday 29th March is an important moment for members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. We were all delighted when in 2011 the then Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI named the Ordinariate in England and Wales in her honour. I know members of the Ordinariate will enthusiastically take part in this rededication and make a personal promise of recommitment to our continuing discipleship in the words of the Angelus promise.
I urge all of you to follow Our Lady by saying “Yes” to God and on Sunday 29th March to join with Catholics around the country in praying the prayer of re-dedication in your churches and homes. May we all be brought closer to Christ through his Blessed Mother. Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us at this particularly challenging time.”
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon (Archdiocese of Liverpool):
“Our Lady has always had an important place in the prayer life of Catholics. I know that many of you say the Rosary daily, a habit that you learnt as a child. Maybe you would kneel or sit in the living room, with mum and dad and take out your beads and pray the Rosary. The Rosary connects us to Our Lady, the first disciple of her Son by meditating on the mysteries of his life. When we do she holds our hands and leads us to her Son, the Lord Jesus in that prayer.
The Rededication of England to Our Lady provides us with an opportunity, like Mary most holy in her reply to the angel Gabriel, to make an offering of our lives to God. In so doing Mary will help us focus on her divine Son, the Lord Jesus, who calls us by name and calls us his friends.
It is most fortuitous that the Rededication of England to Our Lady takes place at this time of crisis. I encourage you all to make this personal dedication with an act of faith, and if it is not your current practice, to take up the Rosary once again to pray for England, to pray for the Church, and to pray for all we love and those in need.”
Archbishop John Wilson of the (Archdiocese of Southwark):
“Since the Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary was first proposed so much seems to have changed in the light of the Coronavirus. How important it is, therefore, to focus on something that hasn’t changed – the love God has for us in the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, the child of Our Blessed Lady. As the beautiful prayer of the Memorare puts it, ‘We fly to thy protection… O Virgin of virgins, my mother.’ It is to England’s Nazareth our attention turns, to the changeless maternal care of Mary, the Mother of our Saviour. As the Rededication approaches we commit ourselves, our families, our Church, and our Nation, to her intercession. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we might all come to know the fullness of the promises of Christ.”
Mgr Stefan Wylężek (Vicar Delegate for Poles in England and Wales):
“At the end of the Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council gives us a beautiful meditation about the Virgin Mary. In its conclusion, we read: “She shines forth as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth” (n.68). We are joining the Catholic Church in England in the Dowry of Mary, an act of our re-dedication into Her loving care. Living through the Lent and with our health concerns, we, Christians know that where is the Cross, there is always hope as well. And the Virgin Mary is always there, close to those communities, our brothers and sisters, She goes along with them and She sings with them The Magnificat of hope.”
Bishop Philip Egan (Diocese of Portsmouth):
The Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry on 29th March, done in public or in private, is a fantastic opportunity. Yes, it reconnects us with our ancient Christian patrimony. But more, it is an act of homage to the Blessed Mother, She Who is the Best-Loved Member of the Church. It gives us a firmer basis for the new evangelisation of our land, deepening and renewing our faith, and once again giving everything to Christ through Mary. And at the same time, it emboldens us as Catholics in England to be countercultural people, yet people always full of love for others, dedicated to their service.
Bishop Alan Hopes (Diocese of East Anglia):
On the 5th Sunday of Lent this year, March 29th, we are all invited to make a personal Act of Dedication of our country to Our Blessed Lady. As we do so, we shall repeat the Dedication made in 1381 by King Richard II of England, who at a time of great turmoil, promised this land and its people as the Dowry of Mary. He turned to Mary for her guidance and protection. He had taken to heart the words of Jesus on the Cross to Our Lady and St John. Later, he gave thanks for his deliverance by making a gift of his country to Mary.
When we are faced with trials and great difficulties and stand at the foot of our own cross, know that Mary always stands alongside us, just as she did with her own Son. With words and gestures, she leads us gently to her Son – in whom we may place our trust and hope with great confidence.
Bishop John Arnold (Diocese of Salford):
In every age and generation there are difficulties and challenges. Today we face the tragedies of armed conflict, human trafficking, Climate Change and a global pandemic. Let us offer our prayers for the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham at this time, particularly for the protection and well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.
As we prepare for the Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary, we observe the Lenten call to prayer, fasting and almsgiving with renewed purpose. May Jesus and his mother hear our prayers and renew hope within us. Jesus Mercy, Mary help.
Bishop Terence Patrick Drainey (Diocese of Middlesbrough):
It was through the “fiat” the “yes” of the Virgin Mary that the Incarnation took place. Mary is very much our model as we enter into this year. Through her faith, she disposed herself to allow the Word of God to become flesh in her.
Although there is only one woman who is the Mother of God made man, yet each one of us, in faith and through the sacraments, can be filled with the Word of God and bring Jesus to birth in our lives.
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Archdiocese of Westminster):
On 29th March we re-dedicate England as the Dowry of Mary, what can I contribute to that Dowry? It will be different for each one of us. It might be our patience, our dependency on God and on others that I can offer; Or, the skills and efforts of my work. Or I may make a special gift to her of my best attempts at prayer, or at the service I give to those in need.
We are Mary’s Dowry! Please enrich that Dowry by offering to her the best that you can give. She will stretch her protective mantle over our land and over all who live here. May God bless you all
Bishop Paul Mason (Bishop of the Bishopric of HM Forces):
Just as the Jews took the Ark of the Covenant, God’s presence among them, into battle, so we have Mary, the New Ark, carrying Christ into ours. As we fight to keep and grow our Catholic Faith in England, we take Mary with us, carrying and protecting our Saviour.The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary not only reminds us of her powerful intercession, but of the real way in which she did and continues to make Christ present in our world.
Archbishop Bernard Longley (Archdiocese of Birmingham):
The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary on Sunday 29th March will highlight our devotion to Our Lady as Mother of the Church. All of our dioceses in England will be united in praying the prayers of rededication under the patronage of Our Lady of Walsingham.England was first declared the Dowry of Mary at a time when all Christians were in full communion with each other. We should therefore invoke Our Lady’s intercession for the unity of the Church, since she is Mother to all the baptised. May this rededication renew our fervour for Christian Unity: ut unum sint – that all may be one.”
Mar Joseph Srampickal (Bishop of the Syro Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain):
Dear Beloved Priests, Seminarians, religious, brethren and Children in Jesus Christ,
Praise be to Jesus Christ, our Lord!
I write this to remind you that on Sunday, 29th of March 2020 is the re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary. England received the title “Mary’s Dowry”, meaning that England was set aside as a gift, a dowry, for our Lady under her guidance and protection. The re-dedication will take place throughout the country on Sunday, 29th of March 2020 at 12 noon. This will happen at Walsingham, in Westminster, in every catholic cathedral (including in Preston), in every parish and in as many homes as possible.
On this blessed occasion, I urge you to dedicate yourselves to the protection of Our Lady so that she may bring God’s abundant blessings on you and all you have.
Yours in our Lord and our God.