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England and Wales: Card. Nichols, Mass of “thanksgiving and renewal” at Westminster Cathedral. 5,000 priests invited

(London) Although almost all of the approximately 5,000 priests of England and Wales have been invited by their primate, Card. Vincent Nichols, to the Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London, only a thousand of them are expected to attend the mass of thanksgiving and “renewal” for priests that will be presided over by Card. Nichols on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on 28 June. The celebration will also be an opportunity to mark the 450th anniversary of the founding of the “English College” in Douai, France, on this very date. The cardinal will remember the place where dozens of priests were formed and trained before being sent on mission to Great Britain during the hard years of persecution brought about by Henry VII’s Reformation. The goal of the Mass, the invitation sent by Card. Nichols to his priests reads, is to “thank God for the gift of priestly ordinations, remember those who responded to the call to religious life and ask the Lord to continue blessing our diocesan priests and members of religious orders”. The celebration will start at noon and will be preceded by a meditation before the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, the most important Marian shrine in England, where Our Lady appeared, in 1061, to Richeldis de Faverches, a local Saxon noblewoman.

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