Last night we had Vespers at 5:30pm in Canterbury Cathedral led by Dominican Friars. They were supported in their singing by Ben Scott and Ben Saul and singers. The homily was given Fr Richard Finn O.P.
This was to mark the end of the second day of a pilgrimage walk undertaken by Fr Toby Lees O.P., Brother John Church O.P., Fr Samuel Burke O.P. and Brother Bede Mullens O.P. They are walking from Ramsgate to Oxford to mark the 800 anniversary of the group of Dominican friars sent by St Dominic. They plan to reach Oxford on 15th August, the feast of the Assumption. Today after Mass they will continue their walk to Charing.
The only detailed account we have of the original journey comes from the Dominican chronicler Nicolas Trivet O.P. born with a generation of the first group.
“In company of the venerable Father, Lord Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, they reached Canterbury. After they had presented themselves to Lord Stephen, the Archbishop, and he had understood that they were Preachers, he straightway ordered Gilbert (of Fresney, their Prior) to preach before him in a certain church where he was himself that day to have preached. The prelate was so edified by the Friar’s sermon that henceforward during all his episcopate he favoured and promoted the Order and its work.”
Let us pray for these intrepid pilgrims and the work of the Dominican. They have houses in London, Oxford, Cambridge Leicester and Edinburgh.