On 12th September, Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road. The Mass was for the dedication of the altar and the blessing of the Lourdes grotto. On the day, the Cardinal also blessed the reredos and the newly commissioned mosaic of St Vincent de Paul on the outside of the church. Guillem Ramos-Poqui, the icon artist for the reredos and Sophie D’Souza, the artist of the St Vincent de Paul mosaic, were both present at the celebration. The reredos was carved by Stephen Foster.
The parish has recently completed the first phase of an ambitious four-phase programme of improvements for the church building and grounds. Phase one included the rendering of the outside of the church and the landscaping of the church courtyard. New gates and railings were installed, as well as planters, trees, a seating area and a grotto with a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was donated by Herbert House in Liverpool, a community of retired missionaries of St Joseph’s Missionary Society. The statue had previously stood in a grotto which was built to mark the centenary of the society in 1966. When the decision was made to sell the plot of land which incorporated the grotto, the statue needed a new home. The weather-worn statue was fully restored before taking its place in the courtyard garden of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road.
Michael Jarmulowicz, Parish Priest at Harrow Road, said: ‘It is always a great pleasure and honour when the Bishop visits one of his parishes. Therefore, we were delighted to welcome Cardinal Vincent to our parish to consecrate the altar. Initially, this visit was planned for 2020, but Covid meant we had to postpone.
‘In the subsequent year, we have been able to continue the refurbishment work of the front courtyard with the building of the grotto, and installing the newly commissioned mosaic of St Vincent de Paul, which he also blessed. Parishioners were delighted to meet him afterwards as we celebrated with a hog roast and a selection of national dishes brought in by parishioners.’
Altar and reredos at Our Lady and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road. Reredos carved by Stephen Foster. The icon artist for the reredos is Guillem Ramos-Poqui.
Lourdes grotto at Our Lady and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road.
Mosaic of St Vincent de Paul on the outside of the church at Our Lady and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols blessing the Lourdes grotto with Parish Priest Fr Michael Jarmulowicz, at Our Lady and St Vincent de Paul, Harrow Road.