“This was St Dominic’s appearance. He was of middle height and slender figure, of handsome and somewhat ruddy countenance, his hair and beard of auburn, and with lustrous eyes. From out his forehead and between his eye brows a radiant light shone forth, which drew everyone to revere and love him. He was always joyous and cheerful, except when moved to compassion at anyone’s sorrows. His hands were beautiful and tapering; his voice was clear, noble, and musical; he was never bald, but kept his religious tonsure entire, mingled here and there with a few grey hairs.” – from Blessed Cecilia Caesarini OP, Dominican nun who knew St Dominic.
Our holy father Saint Dominic died in Bologna on 6 August 1221, so this year the Order is celebrating the 800th anniversary of his ‘dies natalis’, his heavenly birthday. The Pope has granted a special plenary indulgence to anybody who “attends a celebration in honour of St Dominic” on his feast day (4 August in the old rite, and 8 August in the current new calendar).
To mark this special jubilee, the Rosary Shrine will be celebrating a Novena of Masses from Fri 30th July to Sat 7th August. There will be Mass each day celebrated by a special guest celebrant who will also preach at the Mass. Celebrants will be visiting Dominican friars from Oxford, Cambridge, or Leicester, or members of the Priestly Fraternity of St Dominic, who are diocesan priests affiliated to the Order. Please note the times of the Masses in the poster above (6pm daily except on Sundays when it will be at 12 noon). The Mass on 4 August, which is the feast of St Dominic in the Dominican rite (and still celebrated as such in Bologna), will be a Dominican Rite High Mass in Latin with Dominican chant; a booklet with translations to guide you through the Mass will be provided.
Every night after the Mass, the friars will lead a Rosary Procession with a statue of St Dominic being taken around the church. On the feast of St Dominic itself in the Ordinary Form (8 August), there will be Mass at 12 noon, followed by an outdoor Procession (weather permitting).
We invite you to join us in this jubilee year for these special celebrations of Saint Dominic our patron, our founder, and our holy father. May he bless our parish, our shrine, and our homes.
On Friday the 17th of September, a High Mass in the Dominican Rite will be celebrated at 6pm in the church, followed by a reception. This will be a Mass to give thanks for the successful completion of the restoration works in the church carried out to date, and it is hoped that the men and women who worked on our High Altar and apse will be present to celebrate with us. This Mass of thanksgiving is also being offered by our parish priest Fr Lawrence Lew OP on the 10th anniversary of his Ordination. All are welcome, and booklets with English translations will be provided to guide you through the Liturgy.
We welcome the Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols to this diocesan Rosary Shrine on Sunday 3 October, which is marked as “Rosary Sunday” in our church.
The Cardinal will celebrate the Solemn Mass at 12 noon, which will be served by the Dominican student brothers and novices, and after the Mass he will lead the Rosary procession inside the church, followed by the traditional blessing of roses which are distributed to the faithful.
Please join us in this important celebration of our patronal feast in the 800th year of the English Dominican Province, and the 450th anniversary year of Lepanto and the establishment of the Rosary feast.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary, and in this year we mark the 450th anniversary of the institution of the feast of the Holy Rosary by Pope St Pius V in 1571. As usual, the Rosary Shrine will have a candlelit Rosary Procession every Saturday in October at 7pm. On 9th October, the procession will be followed by our monthly organ recital.
On the final Saturday, 30 October, we will culminate the month of the Holy Rosary with a Rosary Vigil at 7pm. The Vigil will include Adoration and readings from the Saints, a Eucharistic Rosary Procession, and music composed and conducted by Pawel Bebenek. Please look out for further details about the Rosary Vigil and for a workshop of Bebenek’s music on Sat 30 October.
The ‘Future Decades’ Fundraising Campaign Fundraising to Secure the Future of Our Church and the Rosary Shrine Since 2019, the Future Decades campaign has been raising money to respond to our most urgent priorities: Restoring the Apse: Essential stonework repairs