Our Lady's Mirror

Spring 1952

Fr Derrick LIngwood
The New Year had a deep shadow cast over it by the sudden death of the King. To all of us – the general public – this came as a real and personal shock, and whole-hearted sympathy has gone out, and still goes out, to his Queen, his Mother and all the Royal Family. He was a good King, a good husband and father, and a good man. Our readers will not fail to offer many prayers for his soul. This great blow to the whole Country and Empire is so domestic, owing to the nearness of our Royal Family to British hearts, that words cannot express it. To our new Queen our particular sympathy is extended, for we are not unmindful of the terrible burden now laid upon her young shoulders, and we hope and pray that under her reign England may again become great as in the days of her renowned namesake, and that God’s blessings may be showered upon her. The Feast of S. Charles K.M. was duly observed by the customary High Mass, followed by a visit to his image and veneration of the relics. A royal Stuart crown in metal and a velvet mantle have been given for use on his feasts. Why is it that some Catholics object to the feast of this martyr being observed? - for he is known to have led a holy life, and to have worked miracles before and after death in answer to being invoked and through the use of his relics. He has received the primitive form of canonisation, i.e. that customary before the 10th century; churches have been built to his honour, his name was put into the local calendar and a Mass was provided for his feast day. Many a saint in the universal calendar has had no other form of “canonisation” , public acclamation being considered sufficient for at least a thousand years. Our sacristies have had a good clean and the walls re-painted. The upper room, built originally for a sacristy and until recently used as the Sisters’ chapel, is now free, and we want to fit this up as we have so little space at the time of pilgrimages. The room is beautifully panelled in wood made under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century. About £150 is needed to fit this sacristy up, in addition to a new staircase to make it convenient for vested priests to pass up and down. It has been suggested that, in future, the Sunday after July 2nd every year should be regarded as a Walsingham Sunday – not another day with special Propers issued by the Bishops and so breaking into the liturgical sequence, but a day when all Priest Associates and others who come on pilgrimage or are interested in the revival of the cult of Our Lady of Walsingham should preach on the Shrine and its works, and where possible give a collection or at least encourage donations to send to the funds. Many people think that large sums of money are given at pilgrimages, but as a matter of fact we find the average amount given ranges about 4d. per head. This is not enough to keep the Shrine out of debt, and certainly does not leave any margin for the Clergy Fund! Will priests willing to do this let the Administrator (Fr. Hope Patten) know? Help at the Sanctuary was urgently needed last summer, and there is every reason to expect the same demand this coming season. Some years ago we had a system of Priest Chaplains, and for a time it worked well, but during the war it collapsed. It has been made possible, for the summer at any rate, to revive this practice, if priests will offer to help. We are, therefore, asking them to give one week – where possible including Sunday – as chaplain. The duty will consist of saying Mass daily in the Pilgrimage Church or, if asked, in one of the other churches once or twice during the week: helping when there is a pilgrimage: sometimes saying the daily Rosary and leading the intercessions: and giving either the morning or afternoon to duty in the Pilgrimage Church to help and guide pilgrims and visitors and sprinkle the sick. In return for this we offer board and lodging and £3. 3s. 0d. for the whole week. Will priests who are willing and able to help in this way write at once to Father Patten, who is hoping to arrange a rota so that the whole time from Easter-week until the middle of October may be filled. The big gale that swept the south during the end of March was not at all friendly to us – it hurled our temporary front gates down – these were illustrated in a recent number of the Mirror – and we told our readers how dangerous they were. Now we are open to the road. It also threw down the fence separating our garden from the Pilgrims’ Way of the Cross, and our Sisters’ enclosing fence was blown down. The pergola outside the Pilgrims’ Refectory was totally destroyed and much minor damage has been done to trees and houses. Drifts of snow did not help us to realise we were already in spring! CONGRATULATIONS We must not let this number go to print without expressing our best wishes and congratulating Father Fynes-Clinton on his forthcoming jubilee to the priesthood (May 27th). Father has done so much for the Catholic revival, always being in the spearhead of the movement, and in consequence has had to bear much misunderstanding from Catholics in the rearguard, who are always shy of those “in front” going too quickly. All who know St. Magnus by London Bridge can catch a glimpse of the spirit and artistic outlook of Father Fynes, and the church reflects his love and devotion for the Catholic cause, which has been so marked all through his ministry. He became a Guardian of the Shrine when the College of Guardians was first established and is one of the most generous and devoted clients of Our Lady of Walsingham. Ad multium annos. articles: A H, 'Saint Charles the Good'; 'Paradise repainted'; Fr Reggie Kingdon, 'Robert Stephen Hawker - Priest'; Fr H J Fynes-Clinton, 'Our Lady in the City'; Fr John Milburn, 'Presented at Court'; Peter Fitzjohn, 'Lesser Shrines of Our Lady in East Anglia' photographs: Fr Derrick Lingwood [above]; four photographs in and around the Shrine; Fr Reggie Kingdon; Morwenstow Church; two photographs of St Magnus Church, London Bridge