On 8th September, 22 members from Southwark Branch with National President, Siobhan visited the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic’s. Father Joseph Bailham, one of the 10 Dominicans living in the nearby Priory, welcomed us very warmly and gave us a most interesting guided tour around this vast church. Father Joseph explained how the 150-year-old church and one of the largest in England had been designed from the start as a focus for pilgrimages dedicated to Our lady of the Rosary, only a few years after the Lourdes apparitions. Consequently, the nave of the church is lined with 14 chapels, each one dedicated to a Mystery of the Rosary, with the striking stained-glass window above the High Altar depicting the 15th and last Mystery, the Coronation of Our Lady. St John Paul II’s Mysteries of Light, instituted in 2002, were in time illustrated in a small but particularly lush garden established immediately outside the church building.
Our day passed quickly, with Holy Mass, praying the Joyful Mysteries, visiting the garden and simply having chats around many cups of tea.
We came away with various ideas for CWL in Southwark, but mostly wondering how to find ways to make this most beautiful and holy place more widely known.