Second annual Confirmation pilgrimage to Walsingham

On Saturday 20 September, Bishop John Sherrington celebrated the second annual Confirmation pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Young people from across Hertfordshire in Walsingham for the pilgrimage
Young people from across Hertfordshire in Walsingham for the pilgrimage

He was joined by about 70 young people from across the Hertfordshire parishes who had in the last year received the sacrament of Confirmation. Despite the cloudy weather, the day was a beautiful celebration of faith and growth.

The day started with midday Mass is the Chapel of Reconciliation. Bishop John preached on the miracle of growth, and on the call to be saints. Saturday was also the feast of the Korean martyrs and Bishop John quoted from Pope Francis’ recent visit to Korea, stating how just as the Lord made his glory shine forth in the heroic witness of the martyrs, so too he wants to make his glory shine in our lives. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation we are given all the gifts we need to see though this journey of faith. Young people from the diocese were involved in all aspects of the Mass, from reading, to serving, to the excellent music provided by pupils at by John Henry Newman School in Stevenage.

Bishop John Sherrington giving a homily in Walsingham
Bishop John Sherrington giving a homily in Walsingham

The day also had a time of catechesis; led by Bishop John, Michael and Anita parish catechists from Welwyn Garden City, and Fr Uchenna Odenigbo, School chaplain at St Michael’s in Garston. All three brought something new and had different perspective on living lives of faith. Bishop John started with a short teaching on the rosary and sharing some of his story of his rosary and what it means to him. Michael and Anita shared about their family and how Jesus is an important member in their family. Fr Uchenna closed the Catechesis by talking about missionary discipleship. He called us all to live lives of witness and his advice in doing this is to in equal measure ‘play, pray and serve’.

The Bishop and young people during a procession
The Bishop and young people during a procession

After catechesis, we processed in silence the Holy Mile to the village of Walsingham. This was a time of reflection to thinking about all that had happened during the day. We finished at the local parish church where John Henry Newman were set up and singing beautifully to lead us into a short time of Adoration and Benediction which finished our day in Walsingham.