Devotion to Our Lady of Doncaster has existed since the Middle Ages and was one of the country’s most important pilgrimage sites. It was located in the priory of the Carmelite Friars, and became especially prominent after the intercession of Our Lady was deemed by the townsfolk to have saved some people from drowning in the River Don.
Though the Carmelite priory and its shrine were destroyed at the Reformation in the sixteenth century, in the Victorian period devotion to Our Lady of Doncaster was revived in one of the town’s Catholic parishes. In the twentieth century the shrine was transferred to the parish church of St Peter-in-Chains, and the parish has taken a lead in renovating the shrine to its former glory and organising an exciting programme of events and pilgrimages in connection to the shrine.
The Feast of Our Lady of Doncaster was celebrated with Holy Mass led by Bishop Ralph on Tuesday 4th June 2019 in St Peter-in-Chains. Mass was followed by afternoon tea and a talk on the Shrine window by Pauline Allen. The day was concluded with the Rosary in Our Lady’s Garden and Benediction.
The event was attended by many visitors from across the Deanery and Diocese, including staff and student representatives from The McAuley Catholic High School, St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School, whose young people led the readings and prayers, and fellow Christians from the Anglican community, as well as Father Moussa from the Egyptian Coptic Church.
Fr. Darren Reid noted that, “After a year where our Doncaster Deanery has undergone considerable turmoil, it is so good for us all to have joyfully come together, in worship of God and seek the intercession of Our Lady of Doncaster.”