The forthcoming visit of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham to the Metropolitan Cathedral on 21–23 June is of particular interest and pleasure to members of the Union of Catholic Mothers. After all, such is our special devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham that we include her in the prayers we say at every meeting.
Liverpool is the first venue on a two-year tour of every cathedral in the country, culminating in 2020 with the rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary – that is, the rededicating of the faith of the people of England to the Mother of God.
The term 'the Dowry of Mary' is thought to have originated in the 11th century after Walsingham had become a centre of pilgrimage. In a 14th-century painting known as the Wilton Diptych, King Richard II is shown setting aside England as Mary's donation or dowry.
The UCM's annual pilgrimage to Walsingham on the first Tuesday of July is the spiritual highlight of our year. Members come from far and wide to celebrate an outdoor Mass together at the Slipper Chapel, followed by a picnic and a silent procession into Walsingham itself for Benediction in the grounds of the abbey, accompanied by bishops and priests. It is there that our national president gives her address. This is a truly wonderful experience and I would urge any of our members who have never been, to come along and share it with us.
• The UCM National Council will take place at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire from 14–16 May. Please pray for its success and that members will be inspired to take up the challenge of becoming officers.
• The next bi-monthly Mass is at St Richard's, Skelmersdale on Wednesday 9 May at 7.30pm.