In the closing months of the Church’s synodal journey St Marie’s Sheffield hosted the Travelling Statue that is touring the country wherever the Rosary is prayed outdoors. St Marie’s was the perfect location for this visit as the Cathedral Dean had erected on the Sanctuary an Icon of Our Lady as a focus for prayer for our synodal journey 2022-2024.
Alongside the Cathedral the Travelling Statue was welcomed by Fr Lee at St Vincent’s Mission Hub for the Sunday Mass of 24 September which providentially is the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. This Feast Day was particularly appropriate as Our Lady of Walsingham is the patron of this lay apostolate of the Public Rosary Witness of which there are over 40 locations throughout the UK. More details can be found on their website https://www.ukprays.org/
The purpose of the touring statue is to seek the protection and Intercession of Our Lady for England and to pray for the Church’s mission in the new evangelisation which is epitomised by the ethos of the Synod. There was much anticipation for the Travelling Statue’s visit to Sheffield. It was a return visit as it was hosted last year at St Thomas More & at St Mary’s High Green as well as St Marie’s.
This time the emphasis was on home visits which proved occasions of deep prayer and joy. The keynote however is praying the Rosary in the public arena. Three Outdoor Rosarys were held at Sheffield City Hall Plaza.
It was an encouragement to continue with the Outdoor Rosary following the wonderful example of St Marie’s Parish hosting the Public Rosary Witness on 25 March 2022 at which there were over 150 participants from all over the Sheffield Deanery. The Outdoor Rosary takes place monthly usually on the second Wednesday outside the City Hall following the 12:30 Mass at St Marie’s.
It was a blessing to host the Travelling Statue for several weeks in September before its onward journey to Nottingham. The visit focused on praying not only on personal intentions but also for the needs of the Church and for the success of the Synod. Joseph Durham