Our Lady's Mirror

Spring 1943

A corner of the Library
There has been so little to record during the past few months that we did not feel justified in going to print, and none of our readers has sent in any contributions to publish in the “Mirror”; we do wish they would help us in this way and so make this publication of more interest to our readers. We have all been made very happy by a kindly visit to the Shrine and Sisters of our new Diocesan, the Bishop of Norwich, who showed great interest in all he saw. He stayed the night and attended the Mass in the Parish Church the next morning at 8 o’clock. This is the first time for over twenty-two years, that is during the present incumbency, that the Chief Pastor of this Diocese has attended a service of any kind in these parishes, and the first time since the sixteenth century he has visited the Shrine. The eight hundred and eighty-second Festival of the Holy House was observed quietly this year. On the eve, Vespers were solemnly sung and the Administrator gave an Address which was followed by Benediction. On the Feast Day High Mass was offered at 10 o’clock, when the Guardians’ Candle was presented by Mr Long. Benediction was again given in the evening. Thos who read the “Church Times” (and for the benefit of those who gave it up a few years ago, it is worth noting that the paper is much improved and more definite) will have seen that we sing a Requiem each week (except in privileged octaves) for all those who have fallen in the war. Our readers and their friends may like to take advantage of this and send to us the names of those whom they would like to be especially remembered. Names should reach the Pilgrimage Office not later than Saturday for the following week. One is apt to believe that very few people realise that the Chapel of the Coronation, above, and behind the High Altar, is the Chapel of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament: that it was furnished and decorated by its members, and is therefore the one Sanctuary belonging to the Confraternity. Here each month, on the first Thursday at 4.30, the Office of the Blessed Sacrament is sung and Benediction given on behalf of all who belong to the C.B.S. Usually, too, an address is given. You might tell your local wards of this, because as there is no publication connected with the C.B.S. very few indeed know about the Chapel or its use. Everyone will know by now that the ban has been lifted and that pilgrims and visitors can come to the Shrine. Also that the bells can be rung once again. THE LIBRARY The photograph taken by Father Derek White and reproduced in this number shows a corner of the College Library, of which you have heard so much. Unfortunately it does not show the carving on the beam over the fireplace – which is late 15th or early 16th century. This and the open hearth and seat, together with the beams in the roof were all discovered when we began pulling the walls about in preparation for the books – a few of which are to be seen in the picture. AN AMBITION As all our Priest Associates know, it is the aim and hope of those largely responsible for the Walsingham revival to establish a College of Priests with a small number of laymen, for the worship and adoration of God and the work of the Shrine and its Pilgrimage. The site for the necessary buildings for such a foundation has been acquired adjoining the Shrine Church. A very simple Rule, little more than is expected from an ordinary secular Priest living in a parish, is followed, based on that of the Canons of S. Augustine. Each Priest puts in ten months' residence. All naturally say their Mass each morning, but in addition to the members of the College take part in the daily Chapter Mass, and the Office in Choir, which consist of Morning and Evening Prayer; this does not in any way prevent Priests saying privately and in addition whatever other Office they choose. There is, of course, the regular daily mental prayer, as well as daily consecutive reading. Silence is observed from 10.30 until after Chapter Mass, said at 9.30. After the first three months’ probation there is much work to be done in the way of preaching and lecturing for those who have the gifts for that work and we hope some at least will prove to be forceful mission preachers, ample opportunities will be given for the necessary preparation for this work so much needed in every age, and if we are not much mistaken – more than ever after the war. Time for regular and serious study will also be possible for those requiring it. We have reason to believe that the services of such a College will be welcomed by overworked or sick Priests all over the country. While there is always, and if after the war the pilgrimage continues to grow, an ever-increasing amount of work in organising, looking after and managing the pilgrimages which come to Walsingham, in addition we have the Children’s Home, which is a definite part of the Shrine organisation. In connection with the College we also hope to found a Hospice for old and lonely Priests who wish to end their days in Catholic surroundings. The Fathers of the College and the Brothers will look upon this as part of their most privileged work. Directly it is possible it is proposed to restore and adapt the derelict cottages on the site; it is the intention that each Father shall have a cottage to himself, consisting of two or three rooms. There is to be in addition a Refectory, where the two principal meals will be taken in common; a library, which we are slowly and painfully trying to build up; and a Common Room. Donations for the reconstruction work as well as to endow the College are needed – would you care to share in this? articles: 'I will go into the House of the Lord'; 'A Great Betrayal' [South India scheme] photograph: a corner of the Library that Fr Patten wanted to create [above]