Nearly 500 people from all over the Middlesbrough Diocese trekked up a rough track to Mount Grace, Osmotherley, to take part in the annual outdoor Mass to mark the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven on Sunday 15th August.

photo of the Assumption Pilgrimage 2010 by Les Clarke

‘For a change in recent years we were blessed with sunny weather which everyone enjoyed’ said Fr Damian Humphries OSB, Prior of the village monastery.

The main concelebrant at the Mass, which was attended by nearly 30 priests, was Mgr Gerard Dasey, Vicar General. Fr Colin Battell OSB, Prior of Ampleforth Abbey, preached on the 60 year dogma about the assumption of the Virgin’s body, which Pope Pius XII proclaimed – in the lifetime of some of those attending.

He said the shrine was rebuilt in the 1940s by young Middlesbrough priests led by the late Fr Peter Storey, after having fallen into disrepair. It used to be known as a ‘thin place’, meaning that the distance between it and Heaven was ‘thin’ or a shorter distance than normal.

Safi Kavuo, from the Sacred Heart parish, Middlesbrough, who attended wearing an African-made gown dedicated to the Virgin, said ‘We thank God for Our Lady. We have had many blessings through praying the rosary, which is a most powerful prayer.’

Nearly 20 pilgrims prayed all night on the Saturday (14th/15th) in the chapel.

Michael Morrissey