On Saturday 29th September 2012, the Reception and Installation of the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, together with the Mass, brought together the Catholic population of Bedford and beyond.
The Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph was packed with the faithful who came to hear Edmund Adamus, Director of Pastoral Affairs for the Diocese of Westminster, formally hand over the Image from Westminster to the Diocese of Northampton and its permanent home in Bedford. Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Peter Doyle and priests from the Westminster Diocese, Dublin and Bedford.
Others present at the Mass included the Anglican Bishop of Bedford and representatives from the Borough Council and Catholic organisations such as ACN, CAFOD, SVP, SPUC and Luton Good Counsel.
After the Church celebration, the evening concluded with socialising and refreshments at St Frances Cabrini parish hall.
Sunday 30th September dawned dry and bright, the sun even putting in an appearance in the afternoon! 1400-1500 people took part in the Procession of Faith through the Bedford streets, led by Bishop Peter Doyle. More people (200-300) joined the procession once it reached the park.
Here, the local Zimbabwean Community enthusiastically welcomed the Bishop with a traditional song and dance. This was followed by hymns, prayers and readings reflecting themes taken from Catholic Social Teaching, which included Sanctity of Life, Faith in the Family and Community, and Care for the Poor and Vulnerable.
After Benediction and the final blessing given in English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Irish, the congregation then had time to investigate the faith stalls and admire the Art Work of local school children.
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Bishop Peter's three homilies preached at the weekend are available here (Mass at St Josephs), here (Bedford Park) and here (All Saints Evensong)
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