Tuesday, 8th September marked the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. It was also the Patronal Feast of Quarr Abbey. Like the Medieval Cistercian monastery, the present Benedictine abbey is dedicated to Our Lady of Quarr. This day also marks the anniversary of the reception of the Countess of Clare (foundress of St. Mary’s Church) into the Catholic Church. She was received in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 1841. When she returned to Ryde she built St. Mary’s in Ryde High Street within five years. The feast also marked the anniversary of the first Mass in our beautiful Lady Chapel (at the time, unfinished) in 1893.
Fr. Anthony Glaysher was pleased to have Fr. Armand de Malleray FSSP here in Ryde for four days. On the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, whilst the Holy Rosary was recited and the Blessed Sacrament exposed at the Lady Chapel, Father heard Confessions, before offering the midday Mass. In his sermon he reminded the congregation that:- “the long genealogy of Jesus, that we hear in today’s gospel helps us to realize how the Jewish people were living for centuries in expectation of the coming of the Lord ……………… This feast day further reminds us that Our Lady was chosen to be the worthy Mother for the Son of God. She is the one through whom the grace of God was given to the world. We should imitate her in spreading the graces of God into the world. On this feast let us ask Mary, our Mother for an increase in graces and let us ask for her intercession with her Son, Jesus”.
Fr. Armand was pleased to meet with members of the Confraternity of St. Peter over a convivial lunch at Peter and Gill’s house. Father informed the group of the acquisition of a church in Warrington in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He will be moving shortly to the north to start a new apostolate. This is conveniently situated halfway between Reading and Edinburgh; - the two existing FSSP Foundations in Britain. Fr. Armand had been hoping and praying for some time that there would be a base in the north, from which, hopefully, the FSSP will grow and prosper and in time, the society will be able to offer not only regular Mass, Confessions and devotions, but also catechesis, spiritual meeting, retreats and all the other activities which they have inaugurated in Reading.
Fr. Goddard and Fr. Verrier (newly ordained this year) for the FSSP, will be staying in Reading to continue the apostolate which has advanced so successfully.
Fr. Armand and Fr. Anthony Glaysher both crossed the Solent on the evening of this Marian Feast to visit the Marian Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate at St. Mary’s, Gosport. They had arranged a torchlight procession in honour of Our Blessed along the High Street in Gosport. They were both surprised and delighted to see the church almost full. After the procession, there was an opportunity for individual investiture with the Miraculous Medal. Credit to Bishop Egan for giving this church to the Franciscan Friars. Their presence is already providing much needed spiritual nourishment for the faithful.
Before he departed for Warrington (today, Thursday), Father Armand asked for prayers to ask for God’s blessing on his mission in the north and he urged the Confraternity on the Island to continue to meet and to pray and support each other in the Faith. The parish was pleased that one of Father’s last visits before departing to Warrington, was here to the Isle of Wight, where he has been a regular visitor offering Mass, giving days of Recollections, hearing Confessions and giving support in particular to Fr. Glaysher, who has a close affiliation with the FSSP and has always appreciated the support of their priests in Ryde. It is almost 15 years since Father Armand’s first visit to Ryde and he leaves for the north with our prayers and good wishes.
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