Looking Forward to a New Chapter

There is a great feeling of hope growing around Brentwood's new bishop-elect, Fr. Alan Williams SM, MA, PH.D, who is currently Director of The National Shrine of our Lady at Walsingham. Everything I hear is positive and exciting about our new appointment. This weekend saw the diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham, but also the National Association of Catholic Families' pilgrimage weekend also to Walsingham.

For example, Bishop-elect Williams gave a talk at the pilgrimage yesterday where he spoke about the role of Mary and the teaching of the Church. Religion is about conversion, or it's about nothing at all stated the soon-to-be-bishop of Brentwood. He holds that we need to convert people to the Catholic faith because it's true. Wow! This is the sort of stuff we are longing for isn't it? It confirms Father Kevin's comments on Sunday:
It is a great comfort to us all, and to me personally, that our new Bishop Alan Williams - has been not only the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, but his own devotion to her is central to his spirituality. With this knowledge we can be confident that, from the beginning, the Diocese will be under her special protection and patronage. Our Lady of Lourdes is not only our own Patroness but that of our Diocese too. Continue to pray for our Bishop-elect that, under Mary’s powerful intercession, all of us, Clergy and Faithful, may be drawn into a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit whose outpouring we anticipate at Pentecost.
Bishop-elect Alan Williams addresses rge National Association of Catholic Families at Walsingham.
I have also heard that our new bishop is going to live at the Diocesan House of Prayer- Abbotswick, rather than the house they have prepared next to Brentwood Cathedral. Fr. Alan, as a member of a religious order, would prefer to live in community. I was so pleased to hear this. I think it will be a great honour for the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham to have our bishop in their community. It is also a frugal use of the diocesan funds and in keeping with the example given by our Holy Father Pope Francis. 

I have been informed that his focus is totally Christocentric, inevitably inspired by his Marian devotion. Also that it is clear that Fr. Alan understands the difficulties facing Catholics and particularly Catholic families in the current culture. All this affirms that his appointment is a tremendous source of hope, tremendous! Deo gratias!

Brentwood Youth with their soon to be bishop on Saturday.


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