Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Relics of St Therese at Aylesford

I went with a group of some 20 people from the parish to Aylesford for a marvellous day of prayer and pilgrimage. As well as from the Southwark Archdiocese, there were many coaches and groups from outside the diocese too. I met people from the dioceses of Arundel & Brighton (including Father Ray Blake) and Brentwood. It is estimated that some 8,000 people were present today, but the total numbers expected over this weekend (see programme here) are likely to be in the order of 20,000.

Apart from the concelebrated Mass and having a sandwich afterwards with some parishioners, together with a number of other priests I spent the day hearing confessions, which was a truly wonderful opportunity to witness the power of God's graces mercifully outpoured on the occasion of the visit of St Therese's relics.

Here is some video of the day:

Preparations for Mass:

Mass 11.30am:

Healing Service 3.30pm:

Here are some of my photos:

Offertory - offering of the chalice

Blessing of roses
Blessing of roses

The relics are returned to the relic chapel for veneration after Mass.

My amateur video of the arrival of the relics:

and Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Bishop Howard Tripp (former auxiliary) and Father Matthew Dickens (Vicar General) process to the altar.

You can see pictures of yesterday's welcoming of the relics with the participation of pupils from schools of the diocese here.

Father Stephen Langridge, Southwark Vocations Director, doing his stuff.

People queueing to venerate the relics.

And lots more news at the official website including opening and closing remarks of Archbishop McDonald (Pray for a Particular Blessing and A Call to do Something in the Church) and the homily of Carmelite priest Father John Keating (Surrendering to God's Love). See also the Southwark Diocesan website.

UPDATE: see how our local media are covering the event.
Kentish Express
BBC Kent


  1. Marvelous! What a splendid turnout. I'm sure many graces and blessings will flow from this visit.

    [I know most people don't like crowds, but I bet this one was most considerate of each other -- it was that way when the relics came to San Diego, and I expect it's much the same elsewhere -- just a feeling of pure joy overshadowed eveyrone. One really felt the church militant and the church triumphant in unison.]

  2. Thank you Father for taking the time and trouble to post these videos and photos. Much appreciated.

    God bless.

  3. Please pray for the salvation of our Muslim and Jew brothers and sisters. So they may see thier real Messiah who is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.Always remember Love is stronger than hatred.

    May God bless you all.

    Yours in Christ.
    Thomas H. Arthur.


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