The two-year Dowry Tour, intended to help prepare Catholics spiritually for England’s re-dedication as the Dowry of Mary in 2020, reached St John’s Cathedral in Norwich yesterday until Saturday (March 2).

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was welcomed to the Cathedral at an opening Mass last night as was an exhibition and a shrine for the statue.

The tour visit to St John’s involves a three-day triduum of prayer. There will be talks on the Dowry of Mary, an evening of Adoration, and a day set aside for visits from primary and secondary schools. The full schedule will be available to view at dowrytour.org.uk.

During the opening Mass, Cathedral Dean, Canon David Paul, spoke about the importance of the home of Mary as the starting place in the history of the salvation of the world.

“Salvation began in a home which was filled with love and prayer,” said Canon Paul. “Our own homes are very important to us, where we are with our family, welcome friends and hopefully learn about our faith and God’s love for us.”

“Jesus often visited people in their homes, which is why Walsingham is so important as a representation of the Holy House of Nazareth where Jesus was brought up and grew in grace.

“We can see in that little home a glimpse of heaven,” said Canon Paul. “Our true home is in heaven.”

The tour is being jointly organised by the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, a group founded in 1887 that seeks “the conversion of England and Wales, the restoration of the lapsed, and prayer for the forgotten dead”.

The tour is part of the spiritual preparation for England’s re-dedication as the Dowry of Mary around the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 2020. Both the Tour and the rededication have the support of the English Bishops. It is a call to a spiritual renewal to support the New Evangelisation in England.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called the rededication a “moment of great promise … for the Church in this country and for our mission”.

More details including a detailed timetable of the Norwich visit can be found here: http://dowrytour.org.uk/eastanglia/

Pictured above is the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham during the opening Mass at St John’s Cathedral. A full picture gallery can be found here https://flic.kr/s/aHsmz4pf1D