The relics of St Bernadette come to Brentwood & Wanstead, 16-19 October
Bishop Alan Williams has recorded a video inviting all to come and pray with the relics of St Bernadette at the Cathedral on Sunday 16th/Monday 17th October or at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead on 18th/19th October. He will celebrate Mass at 11.30am on 16th at Brentwood Cathedral and at 7.30pm on 18th at Wanstead. There will be a youth Mass at 6.30pm on Sunday 16th in Brentwood Cathedral. The Bishop’s video message can be found here: A personal invitation from Bishop Alan to visit the relics of St Bernadette – Brentwood Diocese (dioceseofbrentwood.net)
Extracts from Bishop Alan’s Pastoral Letter regarding the visit of the
Relics of St Bernadette of Lourdes
Dear Brothers and Sisters, we have a special visitor in our diocese next week: St Bernadette of Lourdes. Having travelled through the Channel Tunnel, and after some weeks of visiting various parts of England and Wales, the relics of St Bernadette will come to us. She will be at Brentwood Cathedral next Sunday and Monday morning, and then, at Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, in East London, from Tuesday to Wednesday. This has never happened before.
St Bernadette was only fourteen years old when a beautiful lady, dressed in white, with a blue girdle and carrying a rosary, appeared to her in a grotto by the bank of the River Gave. During eighteen apparitions, the lady said three things to her. She asked Bernadette to pray for sinners. And, finally, the beautiful lady revealed who she was: ‘I am the Immaculate Conception.’
St Bernadette can be an example to us. She shows us the beauty of faith and trust in the Lord. We can ask her to pray for us. There is another particular reason why we may want to venerate the relics of St Bernadette. The patroness of our diocese is Our Lady of Lourdes. For us, Lourdes is not a faraway place but our spiritual home from which we can draw much inspiration in East London and Essex. Every year, I lead a diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes at the end of July. It is my hope that the visit of the relics of St Bernadette will inspire many of us to join this pilgrimage and go to Lourdes as Our Lady hoped.
A wonderful website has been created for this national tour of the relics. Simply go to St Bernadette.org.uk. There you will find much more information. After the difficul-ties of the pandemic and with much to concern us both nationally and internationally, let us seek the prayers of St Bernadette and place our trust in the loving concern of that beautiful lady, the Immaculate Conception.
Bishop of Brentwood