Friday, 17 September 2010
Pope Arrives in England to a Warm Sunny Welcome
In the chapel he spoke to representatives of Religious and especially addressed those involved in education. In particular he remembered how he was taught as a young boy by 'the English Ladies' who were part of the order who have their foundation in that great English woman, Mary Ward. He also gave thanks for those Religious in schools who "provide a safe environment for children and young people."
After praying with all those gathered he moved off in the Popemobile to take part in the Big Assembly with nearly 4,000 school children and their teachers. What a cheer went up as the Pope entered the sports field! There he not only heard the songs and beautiful voices of Catholic school children but took part in a 2 way conversation via the internet with St John Vianney Catholic School in the Gambia. It was a powerful moment reflecting the global outreach of the Catholic Church but also the commitment of British people to their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, a sign of true solidarity. In his speech to the children he encouraged them to become saints and follow the path of holiness. Among the schools present where those from Surrey and Sussex including all those named after Cardinal Newman. This great English man is to be beatified by the Pope at Birmingham on Sunday.