Walsingham 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of the UCM Pilgrimage

Posted on: 09 March 2020

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Pilgrimage, let’s make it a special one with everyone wearing a yellow rose, button hole.

This year, unfortunately our President, Margaret McDonald, was unable to be with us. She was greatly missed. Stepping in for her was Deputy President Val Ward, who read out an address written by Margaret. The weather was good to us once again. We had more than the required number to have the Mass outside, at which Bishop Alan spoke about Walsingham being the shrine of the Annunciation.

He said, we had that wonderful Gospel of the incarnation, when Mary received the news that she was to be the mother God, Joy was the great note of her life. Then there was a very different Gospel, we have a very lonely scene of Jesus dying on the cross. There was Mary a couple of women and St John, Jesus said to Mary, "woman behold your son", as he points to John, "son behold your mother" commending of Our Lady and St John to each other, it could be said commending of the Church to Our Lady. Very serious, weighty matters, because we have to move from things of great joy, great hope, great welcome, great expectation to much more sombre moments.I want to remind us of the shear breadth of Our Lady’s experience in this world, as a young girl she became the mother of God, saw her son grow up.

He then moved into his public ministry, for three years he changed people's lives incredibly, amazingly, but then in a few days it went from the wonderful joy of the presence of The Son of God on this earth, to arrest, imprisonment and death on the cross. To try to get a sense of what that meant to Marys mind, well, it's just impossible. Then it gets more difficult because we have Good Friday we have Holy Saturday, Our Lord in the tomb, the body of your son in the tomb then the shock of Easter Sunday, although he was risen from the dead. We have 50 days to come to terms with all of this, culminating in Pentecost where the Apostles gathered with Mary in pray. Somehow the gift of the Holy Spirit transforms everything.

When I talk about these matters, I think it's important to get some sense of the Paschal mystery. I ask myself how the early Church, how did the apostles cope with all of this, all the ups and downs, the joys and the sorrows, the light and dark. One person transcends all of this and that person was Mary, a women of balance, the Mother of Jesus.

The UCM hand book has hefty objectives, it talks about families, the church in the world, the sacraments, and it talks about difficulties, there's a lovely phrase in there that pulls it all together," members of the UCM live in unselfish love", that is a quality that Mary carried all through her life. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, for Mary, the perfect disciple, not even when he was rejected, not even when he was arrested, not even when he died on the cross. She went from the cross to the tomb, she saw her son buried and nothing could separate her from the love of Christ. So when the UCM aspire to live in unselfish love, we aspire to live in the same way as Mary.

Margaret Postill National Media Officer