The Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary. 29th March 2020

My dear friends in Christ,

Welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog!

In St.Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster, on Sunday 29th March, I will formally take my part in the National Rededication of England as the Dowry of Mary. This will take place within the Mass Liturgy at 10.30am. Unfortunately, we do not have the facility to live-stream the occasion, but that will take nothing away from the relevance or efficacy of this act of piety.When the Bishops of England and Wales met in November 2017 and decided on this Re-dedication they could not possibly have envisaged the circumstances within which it would take place. That is possibly a very good thing because, if they had, they might well have been tempted to choose some other date when the country was less troubled.As it is, we are living at a time of national emergency within a global crisis. Our Catholic Faith is designed to cope with such times. When all around is utterly uncertain we fall back on the utter certainty of the Gospel, the Good News, the saving love of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. When we are anxious about ourselves and loved ones, and in many instances not even allowed to visit our aged parents, the priorities of life -what really matters to us – are made very clear.I see it as no coincidence that we make this act of Rededication now, in this way. God knew it would come, and Our Lord wanted us to be given again to His own Mother, ‘Woman, behold your child; child, behold your Mother.

’No ‘quick fix’ is expected. We are set to remain in these distressing times for a good while to come. We must adapt to a new way of living. We have been shaken, and continue to be tested. Mary re-assumes her prominence in the life of England, England’s Dowry, England’s true rose. Present to and with Her children we will come through this safely. Life may suffer, but eternal life is beyond the reach of CORVID-19.The Government advises us to ‘Stay at home; protect the NHS; save lives.’ Jesus instructs us, ‘Make your home in Me as I make My home in you.’ His home will always have Mary at its heart. We will willingly stay in this home.We will pray for all who form our wonderful NHS, commending them to the protection and prayers of our Blessed Lady. We will also be mindful of those who are of service to our spiritual well-being, parents, teachers, clergy and religious.We will dedicate ourselves to corporal works of mercy in order to enhance and protect lives, especially those most vulnerable, amongst whom we must count the unborn children. On top of this, we will dedicate ourselves to the spiritual works of mercy, making every effort to save souls, especially those in most need of God’s mercy.With my prayers and blessing at this time for all who read this message and stand in need of Grace.

+Paul

Paul Swarbrick

Bishop of Lancaster.