It is a great pleasure to confirm that Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, will lead the Pilgrimage on Saturday August 6th, 2022. He previously led the pilgrimage in 2015.
Bishop Philip has done much to proclaim the Culture of Life.
In an Easter pastoral letter in 2018, entitled ‘People of Life’ he strongly affirms the dignity of human life and celebrates the union of human and Divine in Christ. He writes, ‘It is thrilling that we humans, body and soul, live at the intersection between the two realms of creation, the material and the spiritual! This should make us a people of life, a people of joy and good will, people who promote the sanctity of life in all its beautiful diversity’.
Going on to consider the impact of the 1967 Abortion Act, he also draws on Pope Saint Paul VI’s prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae to illustrate the catastrophic consequences, seen in today’s society, of disregarding marriage and family life as envisaged in Church teaching.
He goes on to say, ‘Ours is an era of amazing advances in knowledge and technology, from science and medicine to the arts and humanities. Yet the demise of faith and religion, the demise even of people praying, is rapidly undermining in Britain the foundations of ethics.
This dilution of our Christian patrimony threatens to usher in a frightening new Dark Age. No wonder a death-wish is arising for assisted suicide and euthanasia. As Catholics, as people of life, we cannot ignore these challenges. We must act.’
Bishop Philip was born in Altrincham, Cheshire, educated at St Ambrose College grammar school and studied classics at King’s College London. He trained for the priesthood at Allen Hall Seminary, Westminster, and at the Venerable English College in Rome, being ordained on 4 August 1984.
On 11 July 2012, he was appointed as Bishop of Portsmouth, his consecration taking place at St John’s Cathedral on 24 September 2012, the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham
Outline of the day
Built around the midday Holy Mass, celebrated by Bishop Philip with Fr David Donaghue, the day will also include opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. This time will include the Holy Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany of Life and Benediction.
Mid-afternoon will herald the change of location from the Shrine to the Priory in the village, walking the Pilgrim Way, to the original site of the Holy House of Nazareth. This is the now traditional silent walk, a prayerful walk with Jesus to Calvary.
While the focus is prayer and reparation for sins against life, the pilgrimage is also a chance for those attending to spend time in the peace and quiet of England’s Nazareth
The pilgrimage in 2023 will be on 5th August and will be led by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley