Sunday 1st May 2016
Beauvale Pilgrimage Walk
The Pilgrims were invited into Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish Church by Parishioners and we were given a very warm welcome, Bishop Patrick, Religious, staff and pupils from The Priory and Saint John Houghton, The Beauvale Society, Parishioners and friends from the Diocese joined together to remember the holy martyrs, John and Robert of Beauvale who triumphed over suffering and were faithful unto death.
Cannon John blessed us as we began our Pilgrim Walk: May God the Father who created you, guide your footsteps, May God the Son who redeemed you, share your journey, May God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you, lead you on life’s pilgrimage, And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you wherever you go. Amen
The pupils of Saint John Houghton were there to meet and greet the Pilgrims’ and we walked in silence to the Beauvale Stone. The Beauvale Society welcome us and prayed, ” Holy Spirit, you gave Saint John and Saint Robert, Light to know your truth, Wisdom to defend it, and Courage to die for it. Through their prayers and example bring our country into the unity and peace of Christ’s Kingdom”.
Caroline and the music group led us in song as the Mass began. To gather and worship on such holy ground in the open air gave a powerful presence to this special event. Beauvale comes from the French word meaning, beautiful valley, and we really were surrounded by God’s beauty.
Mrs McCarthy led the students in the readings and Rt Rev Dom Erik Varden, from St Bernard Abbey gave the homily and reminded us of the martyrs courage and strength. Father Varden reminded us that the saints were ordinary people and that we are the saints of today for tomorrow. We were inspired to listen to God’s message in this Holy Year of Mercy and to take God’s mercy to all. Prayers of the Faithful were led by Team Chaplaincy, Saint John Houghton. The Priory and John Houghton pupils joined hands to bring up the offertory to Bishop Patrick. The Knights supported the distribution of Holy Communion. During the Recessional Hymn the Priests and laity walked through the arch way now prepared to be strong and brave when faced with fear, to have pride in our faith and to show we are Christians by our love to others.
With thanks to Ann and Tony who own the Beauvale site, Team Chaplaincy, The Beauvale Society and Eastwood Parishioners we were able to gather and enjoy conversation over refreshments.
This was a very special occasion for our Academy and the beginning of a different way of praying once we return to school life inspired by the Mass in Beauvale. What happens next once we return to school? We want to continue to grow in faith and lead a healthy Catholic Life. We shall make certain prayer is the first task in our lives. We will read the Gospels and ask, ‘What did Jesus do? How was His life? What did He tell us? What did He teach us? And we will try to imitate Him. Having walked through the Door of Mercy we realise we have three more doors to open: to pray, to celebrate Jesus and to find the joy in the sacraments and to imitate Jesus. This Pilgrimage was so good for our school community because it reminds us that Intercessory prayer is very important because it seeks the good of others. It also reminds us to pray for ourselves and now we can see our own needs in their proper perspective, and in relation to other people in our lives. We will now be able to pray for our own needs in a better way in our Upper Room, in the silence of our hearts and in God’ gardens.
Thanks be to God for this beautiful day.
Photographs to follow shortly