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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

Press Releases

Hand on the ‘flame of faith’ to future generations, Bishop tells Latin Mass Society

26th August 2012

For immediate release:

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, will today urge members of the Latin Mass Society to embrace the forthcoming Year of Faith in order to effectively transmit the “flame of faith” to future generations.

Preaching at a Traditional High Mass at the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, Norfolk, the Bishop of Shrewsbury will tell the LMS of how the ruins of the Medieval shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham serve as a reminder of what was lost during the Protestant Reformation.

The light which was extinguished in Walsingham was not only England’s renowned devotion to Our Lady “but the light of that flame which pointed night and day to the Real Presence of Our Lord, truly God and Man, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist”, Bishop Davies will say.

It was therefore vital that the Church deepens its faith today by accepting with enthusiasm the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the Year of Faith that will open on October 11 – the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, he will say.

Quoting the Holy Father, Bishop Davies will encourage the LMS pilgrims use the occasion to “profess the faith in fullness and with a renewed conviction” and to “intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist”.

His homily will be delivered just a mile from ruins of the original shrine, the end of a three-day, 55-mile walking pilgrimage by the LMS that began in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Bishop Davies will say: “These very ruins of Walsingham towards which you will walk the last ‘Holy Mile’ of this pilgrimage serve to remind us that each successive generation must make that choice for the faith again. Much as we saw a flame, which was only a flame, passing from hand to hand across the country so something greater ‘the flame of faith’ must be passed on from generation to generation.”

“… As the Latin Mass Society, as the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, as pilgrims to Walsingham, we accept together with enthusiasm the call of the Second Vatican Council in all its authentic teaching and the invitation of this Year of Faith to which the Holy Father calls the whole Church. In this way we must seek not only to guard the deposit of faith but teach it more effectively, intensify the celebration of the faith in the Sacred Liturgy and bear witness to this faith in our whole lives. In this way we will pass on the flame of faith and so leave to new generations not the ruins of a Christian past but the faith which Walsingham has represented for almost a thousand years: the joy of the angelic salutation, the joy of the Word made flesh, the joy of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar which Our Lady desired should never be lost in this land.”

The Mass was to be celebrated by Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and rector of the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, Wirral, which falls within the Diocese of Shrewsbury. Canon Meney took part in the Walk of Pilgrimage.