08 September 2014
Changes at Walsingham
It has been announced that the Marist Fathers will shortly be giving up the custody of the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This follows the appointment of Fr Alan Williams SM, the former Shrine Administrator, as Bishop of Brentwood. Although the Marists have appointed a temporary administrator for the shrine, it seems that the declining number of Marist priests has forced the order to hand over the care of the shrine. The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was very quick off the mark to put in its bid to become the new custodians, and and it would be difficult to think of another group that would be in a better position to take over. Certainly the Diocese of East Anglia is already severely stretched, and practically all other religious orders that might be considered eligible are suffering from a decline in the numbers of their priests................ It would be hard to think of anyone better than the Ordinariate to take over. Their special attachment to Our Lady of Walsingham is one good reason for them to take on the role. The fact that they have relatively large numbers of priests in relation to their pastoral commitments is another. However, the strongest reason must be their enthusiasm, and the vitality that they would bring to England's prime Marian shrine. Surely they are the best people for the job!