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The Conventual Franciscans of Great Britain and Ireland were delighted to welcome Fr. Terence Bateman and to admit him to the postulancy programme. In the afternoon of 10th September, 2018, Fr. Terence, a priest from the Westminster Diocese, was admitted to the postulancy programme in a ceremony officiated by Fr. Ciprian Budau, OFM Conv. – the Custos of Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Custody. The 10th September is a day of blessed significance for the Greyfriars; it was the date that the Franciscan friars first landed on the shores of England in 1224 (it is now the Feast day of Blessed Agnellus of Pisa – the friar to whom St. Francis personally entrusted the first Franciscan mission to England). The ceremony took place in the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham; it was a truly historic moment, and many of the friars and lay-faithful were there to witness the wonderful event. Fr. Terence was the first person to be admitted to the Greyfriars in Walsingham since their original friary was dissolved by Henry VIII, 480 years ago. The fact the ceremony took place in the Slipper chapel – the Catholic Shrine in Walsingham – where countless numbers of pilgrims, over hundreds of years, first made their confessions and then took off their shoes for the final holy mile, was an unmistakable testimony to the enduring life of the Holy Catholic Faith in England, under the Patronage of Our Blessed Lady. 

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Admittance of Fr Terence to the Postulancy

After the moving ceremony, the friars held a celebration in the Slipper Chapel cottage, where they were joined by the Rector of the Catholic Shrine in Walsingham, Monsignor John Armitage. As two Conventual Franciscans are now Shrine Priests at Walsingham, the welcoming of Fr. Terence only added to tremendous joy that the Greyfriars have finally returned to Walsingham, and are now helping to minister to the many thousands of pilgrims who visit Our Lady’s Shrine every year. Fr. Terence will undertake his postulancy in Walsingham, with Fr. Gerard Mary Toman, OFM Conv. having been made his Director. Please pray for Fr. Terence in the coming months, and for all the Conventual Franciscans who now live, pray and work in Walsingham again, after all these hundreds of years.

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