Many hundreds of pilgrims came to Faversham in Kent over the weekend to celebrate the feast of St Jude. The Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev Peter Smith, visited the Shrine and was chief celebrant at the 2.30pm Mass, which was concelebrated by Fr Kevin Alban, O.Carm, Prior Provincial of the Carmelites; Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm., Chaplain at the Shrine; and Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of Aylesford. Fr Kevin preached. After this special Mass, the Archbishop and Prior Provincial officially opened the small meeting room at the Shrine, and renamed it the Brother Anthony McGreal room.
Brother Anthony McGreal, O.Carm assisted the founder, Father Elias Lynch, O.Carm in establishing the Shrine of Saint Jude and the work of the Carmelite Press. His work with Father Elias created the groundwork for this special place - and the Apostolate continues sixty-two years later. Brother Anthony's nephew, Father Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm was in attendance for this special Mass and renaming of the room. Fr Wilfrid gave a short address about his uncle - a truly great and hard-working man.
The National Shrine of Saint Jude at Faversham in Kent, England, is served by the Carmelite Friars. A major centre of pilgrimage and prayer, it attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, especially around the feast of Saint Jude on 28th October. The development of Faversham into a centre of devotion to Saint Jude arose out of the work of the Carmelite Press. The Press printed a newsletter, Carmelite News, which kept supporters of the friars in touch with their developments at Faversham and across the country. Carmelite News became an important communication link between the Order and its supporters. Carmelite News is still sent out every quarter and is written by the Prior Provincial (currently Father Kevin Alban, O. Carm). The work of Carmelite News and the Carmelite Press was supervised by the parish priest of Faversham, Father Elias Lynch, O.Carm., with the assistance of Brother Anthony McGreal, O.Carm.
The British Province of Carmelites has some 25 communities of friars, sisters and lay people spread across England, Scotland and Wales. The Carmelites are one of the most ancient religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church, first arriving in Britain in 1242. The Order is engaged in many different forms of ministry, including work in parishes, retreat centres, prisons, ecumenical and interfaith projects, justice and peace promotion, publishing, counselling, teaching, and spiritual direction.
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For more information visit www.carmelite.org
Last year Fr Wilfrid published a biography of Br Anthony: 'A Stumbling Pilgrim Guided by Indirections' published by Saint Albert's Press. See: www.carmelite.org.uk/acatalog/A-STUMBLING-PILGRIM-GUIDED-BY-INDIRECTIONS-11649.html