Friday, 28 September 2018
‘We feel we’ve come home’: Franciscans return to Walsingham for first time in 480 years
The new community of Greyfriars comes amid a flourishing of vocations
Franciscan friars have returned to England’s national Marian shrine for the first time since the Reformation.
Three Greyfriars – members of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor – arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in June.
Fr James Mary McInerney, the guardian of the community, said: “It’s a great joy for us. We feel we’ve come home.”
He and two other Franciscan priests will welcome pilgrims, hear Confessions and oversee a daily Holy Hour, as well as assist in the work of the shrine in whatever way is needed.
Franciscans first came to Walsingham in the 14th century. They ministered there for 201 years, looking after lepers and giving poor pilgrims a place to stay.
During that time the shrine became one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Europe, but in 1538 it was dissolved.
The Holy House was burned to the ground and the priory attached to it was left in ruins.
The site has never been restored....
[Read the whole article here]