‘Footprints of Hope’ at Carmelite Shrine of Saint Jude

After ten years of planning and three months of building, a new path called the ‘Footprints of Hope’ was officially opened on 31 May 2024 at the Shrine of Saint Jude in Faversham, Kent.  It was opened by the Mayor of Faversham, Cllr Josh Rowlands with the Prior Provincial of the British Carmelites, Fr. Brendan Grady, O.Carm. The ‘Footprints of Hope’ path is made from individual bricks donated by the friends of the Shrine and the Carmelites with a message on each one.

The Mayor of Faversham cuts the ribbon

Over eighty friends of the Shrine who had donated for their own special brick attended the ceremony. One pilgrim said: “Thank you for a lovely celebration on Friday. It was such a nice way to open that footpath. Even with the rain it was still enjoyable. Thank you for all the planning and effort that went into making it all possible.” After the opening, each supporter either sought out their special brick or bricks or enjoyed some of the refreshments.

Friends of Saint Jude take a look at their bricks

Back in 1955, Carmelite friar, Fr. Elias Lynch, founded the Shrine of Saint Jude for two reasons: first, because he was responding to the needs of the post-war generation who were looking for hope, and secondly because the Carmelite charism is so deeply rooted in the Word of God. It is therefore fitting that there is a place dedicated to Saint Jude – the Apostle of Hope. Both of Fr. Lynch’s initial reasons are still realities in 2024, and pilgrims find the Shrine to be a place of prayer, peace, and hope. In 1955, Jude was very much the forgotten Apostle, which is why people often turn to him when they feel forgotten. However, thanks to the foresight of the Carmelites in England, sixty-nine years ago, Jude is no longer the forgotten Apostle in these isles. Jude enables us to remind ourselves that no-one is forgotten by God. God is our Hope, Jesus is our saviour, and Saint Jude is our friend who reminds us of all of this.

A Pilgrim looks for her brick

Read more about our new initiative, here: https://www.stjudeshrine.org.uk/footprints.

Saint Jude, pray for us.

Thank you to the Mayor of Faversham, the team at the Shrine Office, our volunteers, the Faversham Community, the Reading Community, the Prior Provincial, John Toryusen, Mick May, and all the friends of Saint Jude.

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