Friday, October 06, 2017

More Good News From England

On Sunday, September 24th, His Excellency Michael Campbell O.S.A, Bishop of Lancaster, England, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass to open the Shrine Church of St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs in Preston. The church will now be run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; the Very Rev. Gilles Wach, Prior General and founder of the Institute, was present for the Mass. The Institute is welcomed by the parishioners of the parish, who packed the church full on Sunday to attend the beautiful ceremony; they are delighted the church has been saved from closure and are hopeful for its thriving long into the future with this new lease of life.
The Diocese of Lancaster also put out this press release today, announcing that the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus will soon be coming to the diocese as well.

Only two weeks after a second church (English Martyrs) in Preston was given over to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Diocese of Lancaster and the Institute are pleased to announce that the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, the female branch of the Institute, have accepted Bishop Michael Campbell’s invitation to establish a House in Preston in the Diocese of Lancaster.

The arrival date for the contemplative (but not enclosed) Sisters has yet to be determined, but it is hoped that the Sisters will arrive as soon as possible to set up their first UK foundation at St Augustine’s Presbytery, Avenham, Preston. The spiritual life of the Sisters will be an invigorating support to the life of the Church in Preston, and indeed the whole Diocese of Lancaster.

The Sisters’ days will be centred around prayer - Holy Mass and the Divine Office in the extraordinary form, personal prayer and Eucharistic adoration in the evening, the Rosary, etc. Punctuating this rich life of prayer are periods of manual labour and intellectual training, including instruction in Gregorian Chant, Latin, Spirituality, Philosophy, and Theology, as well as the learning of crafts such as sewing, lace-making, and the care of liturgical vestments and altar linens.

The announcement today comes as yet a further ecclesial investment into central Preston and is the fruit of a close collaboration of the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael G Campbell OSA and the Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Gilles Wach, over the last three years.

Bishop Campbell upon making this announcement commented: “It’s a great joy for me to have the Sisters Adorers come into the Diocese, because I think it’s a great gift, not only to have such a strong and vibrant praying presence at the heart of Preston, but especially for the young women in our Diocese to see that some young women still choose this vocation, and that it can be a joyful and beautiful way to live one’s life.”

Bishop Campbell said he anticipates “an exciting collaboration” between the Sisters and the Priests of the Institute as well as with Father John Millar, Parochial Administrator of St John XXIII, Preston in support of the mission of the Church in central Preston. Bishop Campbell concluded: “We remain very grateful for the historic communities who have served us so well in the Diocese over many years, and yet we are also so grateful for the new life that the newer communities - like the Sisters Adorers - bring to our future life in God.”

Monsignor Gilles Wach added: “Following the beautiful and encouraging opening of a second Shrine in Preston, this invitation to our Sisters from the Bishop of Lancaster is another opportunity to continue the mission of the Institute of Christ the King within the Church. The daily prayer of the Sisters Adorers will be a great spiritual support towards the work of the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in the UK, and will also benefit the Diocese of Lancaster. Their religious life, centred on Eucharistic Adoration and the Consecration to the Royal Heart of Jesus will bring more graces to Preston.”

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