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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

From Our Lady’s Dowry

by Zsolt Aradi

The England of the eleventh and twelfth centuries shared with the other parts of Europe in veneration of Our Lady, and early in this period a famous shrine in her honor sprung up in the calm and lovely countryside near Norfolk, three miles from the sea. Its origins are obscure, but according to the legend a noble widow, Richeldis de Favershes, said that in a vision the Mother of God had led her in spirit to the little house of the holy family in Nazareth, bidding her to build a replica of it in England in honor of the Annunciation. This little house was built and is said to have endured for four hundred years; paneled with wood, its darkness was lit with tapers and, as time went on and many pilgrims came with gifts, it gleamed with gold, silver and precious stones. And from a seal preserved from the thirteenth century we know that it contained a figure of Our Lady enthroned with the Child in her left arm. This is one of the most beautiful medieval representations of Mary, "The Seat of Wisdom."

In time the small house built by Lady Richeldis was enshrined in a splendid Lady Chapel and in the thirteenth century, during the reign of Edward the Conqueror, a great Priory Church was erected beside it for the Augustinian Canons who were made the guardians of the shrine. Walsingham was not the only place of pilgrimage to Our Lady in England, but it became the most famous of them all...

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.