By kind invitation of the Foyle family members of our community together with over 250 Catholics and others from our parishes and beyond had the joy of celebrating Mass at the former Norbertine abbey of Beeleigh on August 17th. This was the first time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass had been celebrated at the abbey since its dissolution and thus was naturally a wonderfully graced occasion for all who attended.
A votive Mass of Our Holy Father Norbert was celebrated in the former chapter house which is now used as a chapel. We sang the proper parts of the Mass from the Premonstratensian Graduale and a number of hymns to St. Norbert. Our prior, the Rt. Rev. Hugh Allan o.praem. preached a marvellous homily on the great gift of the faith which endures all things. After Mass we repaired to the site of the former High Altar and shrine of St. Roger Niger whose remains were venerated at Beeleigh. There we prayed for the deceased confreres of the abbey and their benefactors and finally sang the ‘Salve Regina’ in honour of Our Lady, Queen of the Order.
It was a wonderful occasion for us as an Order to return to pray and to celebrate Mass in this beautifully appointed former abbey of our Order, most especially to be there and to pray there and to celebrate Holy Mass for the first time since 1536. Our thanks to the Foyle family and all at Beeleigh who made this wonderful day possible.
Photo-graphs by Joseph Kelly, with thanks