On 26 March 2015 the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Most Rev. Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., visited the National Shrine of Saint Jude, Faversham to officially launch their diamond jubilee. He attended with the Councillor General for Europe, Very Rev. Fr. John Keating. The National Shrine is looked after by the British Province of the Carmelites.
During the morning, Fr. Fernando and Fr. John met the community at Faversham, and then the team at the Shrine Office, so that they could see the work of the Apostolate. Afterwards, they were taken on a tour of the Shrine.
In the afternoon, Fr. Fernando celebrated Mass for the community and lay staff in front of the beautiful sixteenth century statue of Saint Jude.
Fr. Fernando launched the diamond jubilee by thanking all the Pilgrims who have supported and visited the Shrine since 1955. Fr. Fernando noted that the Carmelite Order are very proud of the work of the Shrine, the community and lay staff. He then unveiled a plaque to celebrate the start of the diamond jubilee and his visit. On his departure, Fr. Fernando was given a gift of a statue of Saint Jude and Life Membership of the Guild of Saint Jude.
Fr Michael Manning, Chaplain, said: “It was a truly joyous occasion and Fr. Fernando thoroughly enjoyed his visit to our special Shrine”. Mr Matt Betts, Development Manager remarked: “The National Shrine of Saint Jude is rightly proud of its 60 years of ministry and we are very pleased that Fr. Fernando has started our celebrations off. We are looking forward to seeing pilgrims at our Summer Celebration on 30 May 2015, when celebrations will continue – all welcome”.