On Saturday 9 July the Pastoral Area of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour made a pilgrimage to the Holy Door at Northampton Cathedral, carrying the Lampedusa Cross, and praying the pilgrimage on the refugee crisis.
The pilgrimage began with a penitential liturgy at St Gregory’s (Northampton) in which we recognised our own complicity in the reasons why so many are forced out of their homelands to seek refuge elsewhere. Our own petty feudings and dislikes, our greed for cheap goods at the expense of people in developing countries, our own prejudices are closely related to the causes of so much forced migration.
We began our walk in the rain (which mercifully did not last) and made our first stop (with the kind permission of the Vicar) in the grounds of St Matthew’s (Anglican) church where we recognised how difficult and dangerous is the journey made by so many migrants. Carrying the Lampedusa Cross, we thought of those who were shipwrecked on their journey, and any who did not survive.
Our second stop was on the racecourse, where we were able to shelter while we thought of families who were separated through migration, and prayed for them and for our own families.
As we drew nearer to the Cathedral we stopped again to consider the sort of welcome that refugees and migrants receive. It is a tragedy that many migrants are not made welcome, and many face rejection.
Finally, before entering through the Holy Door we prayed for mercy, and prayed that we ourselves may be merciful people, and when we passed through the door we were invited to meditate on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as we prepared for Mass, which we shared with the pilgrimage from Bletchley. Despite being a small group the event was appreciated by all who took part in it.
If you would like to borrow the Lampedusa Cross, please get in touch with Philly McKenna, Parish Secretary at the Northampton cathedral. You can download all resources for the pilgrimage and order (for free) the Lampedusa action cards from the CAFOD website or get in touch if you want more information.
Written by Fr Andrew Behrens (St Gregory – Northampton)