A recent article in the National Catholic Register features a pilgrimage experience of Friar James Mary McInerney, OFM Conv., one of our friars of our province’s Blessed Agnellus Custody, also known as the Greyfriars. Take a moment to read The article reflects the joy we friars hold, as we encounter the people of God, in our day to day lives.
During this past month’s Custodial Chapter, Friar James Mary was elected to serve our Custody, as a Definitor. Definitors work with the Provincial Custos to help ensure that the Custody continues to best serve the needs of all of the friars and their ministries. During this recent Chapter, a proposal referencing the remains of the Walsingham Friary (the location of the above linked article) was on the agenda. We ask that you all please keep this process in your prayers, as the Provincial Custos and the Definitory Friars work with the Bishop of East Anglia to initiate a return to Greyfriar service at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is Catholic England’s foremost Marian Shrine, attracting 150,000 – 250,000 pilgrims each year. Our Order came to Walsingham in 1347 (including a ministry to the lepers) and remained there until the dissolution of their friary in 1538. The significant ruins of the Franciscan friary can still be seen today. Over the last five years, our Custody’s friars in formation have assisted in Youth Meetings there. The actions of our friars who have been present at the Shrine, was a catalyst for our possible return. Our friars hope to work at the Shrine serving the Sacramental needs of the pilgrims. This will give our friars a presence in the community with a possibility of growth. Our friars already have a strong Marian focus and this opportunity could be profound blessing to all involved.
More with Friar James Mary: In a video from a few years ago, he shared his experience in our Novitiate, when it was still in Indiana. Our Novitiate has since moved to California, but the experiences and the purpose of the time the friars spend there, is still the same.