The Knights of St Columba were well represented once more on the annual Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, notably Aintree council whose members have been helping with sick and disabled pilgrims for a number of years.
This time, KSC members were privileged to act as bearers of Our Lady's statue in the torchlight procession, as our photo (right) indicates. The grand knight of Aintree council, Alf Swain, used the occasion to present meritorious medals and certificates to Terry Carroll, Peter Kinsey and Charlie Newport in recognition of their devoted service to the Church and the Order over a long period.
• Canon Phillip Gillespie (below right), rector of the Beda College in Rome, has been made a member of honour of the KSC for his services as chaplain to the Isle of Man council during his spell as parish priest of St Mary of the Isle in Douglas. He received a certificate of membership from the council's grand knight, Ivan Park, in a ceremony during Mass at St Mary's on 2 August.
• The Harkirk Chapel is a hidden gem in Little Crosby, a historic monument to the courage and tenacity of Catholics in South Lancashire who refused to abandon their faith during the Reformation. The Knights have been attending the annual memorial Mass each July at the chapel, which is served by St Mary's Catholic Church nearby, and we have been invited back for the 11.15am Mass on Sunday 18 September – an invitation issued by the parish priest, Father Dustan Harrington, to celebrate the annual harvest festival.
The chapel's rich history, and connection to the Order, will come into focus when we approach the centenary of our foundation in 1919. During the Reformation era, the chapel was provided by the Blundell family on their estate as a burial ground for those Catholics denied this right unless they conformed to the requirements of the Established Church. A later member of the Blundell family – Nicholas Blundell, a Member of Parliament and KSC member – was instrumental in the repeal of legislation in 1926 preventing Catholics from taking part in public displays of their faith such as May processions.
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