On Saturday 22 October, members and friends of the Dominican Order, parishioners, and clergy of the diocese gathered to witness the inauguration of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at St Dominic’s Church, Haverstock Hill.
The principal celebrant was Cardinal Vincent, who was joined by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley, an old friend of the Priory, and Bishop Nicholas Hudson. Also in attendance was the Mayor of Camden, Cllr Nadia Shah.
At the beginning of the Mass, banners embroidered over 100 years ago by Dominican sisters and depicting each of the mysteries of the Rosary were brought in procession.
During the Mass, the Cardinal’s decree inaugurating the shrine was solemnly proclaimed. As he granted the official status of a shrine to St Dominic’s, Cardinal Vincent invited the faithful to come to the new shrine on pilgrimage and discover the riches of the Church’s tradition of prayer embodied in the Rosary.
In his homily, the Cardinal reflected on how difficult it often is for us to understand the atrocities of this world, to see God in all things. ‘If this is to happen then we have to take up our station with Mary, who stands there at the foot of the Cross. Only there do we have any chance of beginning to understand.’
He continued: ‘The Rosary is the prayer for us in our darkest hour. This we know. We say the Rosary when we awake at 3am full of anxiety… The Rosary slowly releases its power to calm us, to open our hearts, to allow God’s mercy in. It is a most precious prayer.’
‘I hope and pray that this church, established as our Shrine of Our Blessed Lady of the Rosary, will help us all to come closer to the Lord and let the saving mysteries of his life, death and resurrection, find a throne in our hearts. I pray that the rhythm of the Rosary will become the rhythm of our lives, a powerful beat indeed.’
The full text of the Cardinal's homily is available here.
Photo: Kayte Brimacombe