The Portal November 2017 - Page 13

THE P RTAL November 2017 Richard was climbing up to the Abbey on Mont St Michel. “It is not a tourist attraction. It is a Religious Community.” He observed that his fellow pilgrims “Are as varied as in Chaucer!” Lady and the English Martyrs. They read T he P ortal (of course!), but saw the pilgrimage mentioned in the Ordinariate Newsletter. They were enjoying the pilgrimage, and felt that it was an opportunity to know more about St Thérèse and the Martin family. Alan confided that on Sunday in the Basilica at Lisieux, “I got the whole thing. I never have before, but the power of the relic went very deep for me.” Lydia is a Coptic Christian of mixed parentage. She found out about the pilgrimage from the Pax Travel web site. “The pilgrimage is very important for me,” she told us. “I have read her book, and I know her story, but this is my first time in Lisieux. The Sunday Mass and procession was lovely. Page 13 Gill James “I love the Catholic way of Franziska and Alan Norman taking the celebrations to the streets. In so many parts of the world Christians have to keep their celebrations secret, so this is real freedom.  I loved Alençon and Sr Anastasia who showed us round; her joy and enthusiasm were contagious. I have loved the worship, especially being able to immerse myself in the Mass every day. I like having religious freedom, but Richard Evans fear the way Christianity has become weak in the UK.” Richard Evans is from Surrey, although born in London. He attends Most Precious Blood in the Borough. That is where he found out about the pilgrimage. He is an Anglican born, and bred: baptised, confirmed and educated. He was a member of Forward in Faith, but never quite trusted the organisation in the CofE. Sr Patricia He joined the Ordinariate on 18 th April 2011. It was Monday in Holy Week. Thirty of us were Chrismated at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. “I have never been more nervous in my life,” he told us, “and I was nervous making my first confession a few days earlier.” The highlight of the pilgrimage for Tony Rossi Tony Rossi is of an Italian family. Both his parents were from Italy. Tony has lived all over the world. He is now retired from his job of looking after commercial companies. He is, of course, a cradle Catholic. “I especially enjoyed the Mass at the Basilica for St Thérèse’s Feast Day. On that day the building came alive in all its wonderful glory,” he enthused. He was impressed that the pilgrim group was pleasant with no infighting. “You usually get one!” he joked. Sister Patricia McMahon is a Sister of Mercy from the We st of Ireland, now living in East London. A cradle Catholic from a devout family, she worked in South Africa until she had to come back to the UK because she had cancer. “A friend said that St Thérèse had helped her, and she would help me. I always knew about her, but had no devotion to her. Three years ago, I had my operation and I had started to pray to St Thérèse. My devotion to her grew. I was told that she always sends you a message. When I opened a drawer, an A4 picture of her fell out! There is a statue of her on my corridor, and now it is never without a flower. “This year I celebrate the Golden Jubilee of my Profession. I have been home to Ireland, and make this pilgrimage to Lisieux. The highlight of the pilgrimage for me was Alençon. As to the Ordinariate, I have great admiration for the people who have made the journey to full communion with the Catholic Church. The faith, the sincerity, the cost, the variety: people come so many different ways and have made so many superb sacrifices.” It was a wonderful pilgrimage, spiritually speaking. Our pilgrims were a varied and inspirational lot. Do look out for our next one!