On a sunny Sunday afternoon (June 30) a large crowd of Friends of Maryvale, local parishioners, students and graduates, employees and supporters of the Maryvale Institute gathered in front of the ambulacrum to celebrate its annual pilgrimage Mass and procession in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This year the mass and procession was led by our guest principal celebrant Rev Fr Michael Dolman, Vocation Director of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The whole celebration was accompanied by a beautiful choir composed of Bridgettine Sisters.

The story of Maryvale’s link with the Sacred Heart begins with Bishop John Milner who became Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District in 1803.

He had a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart and when he enlarged the main chapel of the seminary/school, he built above the sacristy a small chapel in the Gothic style which became the first public shrine of the Sacred Heart in the British Isles.

In 1814 Bishop Milner brought back from Rome a small panel of painted glass showing the Sacred Heart of Jesus as described by St Gertrude; he set the panel in a window of the shrine and from that time onwards devotion to the Sacred Heart has been a key part of Maryvale’s life of faith and prayer.