Wednesday, May 28, 2008

National Catholic Register on "Our Lady's England"

From the June 1-7 issue of National Catholic Register:
LONDON — For five years, a group of 60 Catholics and Anglicans has been visiting the 84 Marian shrines in England that had been destroyed during the Reformation.

“We offered prayers and sacrifices to make reparation and atonement for our sins and the sins of our country,” said Frances Scarr, chairman of Art and Reconciliation Trust, at a press conference April 29. The conference was held, appropriately enough, at the Charterhouse, where proto-martyr St. John Houghton had served and where St. Thomas More had received spiritual formation during his four-year residency as a young man.

The “fruit of that prayer and sacrifice,” Scarr said, is a memorial, a sculpture entitled Mary Most Holy, which is scheduled to be unveiled next year in Chelsea near the very spot where the Marian shrines were burned...

Thousands of pilgrims, mainly Anglican and Catholic, visit the Catholic and Anglican shrines at present-day Walsingham, which also has ruins of the monastery destroyed during Henry VIII’s reign.

Art and Reconciliation Trust’s trustees include two Anglicans who are on the College of Guardians, the group that governs the Anglican shrine in Walsingham. One of these, Canon Martin Warner, the head of the College of Guardians, serves at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Patrons of the Mary Most Holy sculpture include Msgr. Graham Leonard, the former Anglican Bishop of London, who entered the Catholic Church in 1994 and served as president of the Path to Rome conferences, as well as Edward Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, the highest-ranking duke and Catholic in England.

The Mary Most Holy sculpture will be a bronze triptych about 12 feet high and 10 feet wide. In the two side panels, iconoclastic thugs in modern dress are smashing the statues with sledgehammers. Some mock the figure of Jesus on the cross; one, however, mournfully cradles the decapitated head of Mary — “suddenly realizing that he is destroying the heritage that he and his family and his family’s family were devoted to,” sculptor Day said in an interview the day before the press conference. In the background are headless saints, their hands folded in prayer.

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Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
London: Plans Unveiled for Memorial to Pre-Reformation Shrines [UPDATED]

A Memorial in Chelsea to the Marian Shrines Destroyed in the English Reformation

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At 5/28/2008 1:11 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

This is really good news to read. I personally believe Mary plays in a large hand in uniting humanity to Catholicism, at the very least to living together in peace. The blueprints of this reconciliation should be a roadmap for other destroyed marian shrines in non-Catholic countries.


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