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Rt. Rev. Robert Byrne CO

In 2017 the Pilgrimage will now be led by Rt. Rev. Robert Byrne CO, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham who has kindly agreed to take the place of Cardinal Pell.

Born in Manchester in September 1956, Bishop Byrne entered Birmingham Oratory in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in January 1985.

In 1990, he was part of a group from Birmingham who moved to St Aloysius parish, Oxford, to found what was to become the Oxford Oratory in 1993. He served as Provost from 1993-2011.

In 2012, Fr Byrne was appointed Secretary to the Bishops’ Conference Department of Dialogue and Unity.

He has served as a prison chaplain for over 35 years.

On Tuesday 13 May 2014, Bishop Byrne was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in St Chad’s Cathedral, the first Oratorian to be so ordained for 140 years. A Vigil of Prayer was held in the Cathedral on the eve of Bishop Byrne’s ordination. In his Vigil homily, Archbishop Longley said that Fr Robert’s episcopal ministry is “one of the gifts we have received through the intercession of Blessed John Henry, Cardinal Newman.” He also gave thanks to Our Lady of Fatima whose feast day it is on the day of the ordination and who answered the Archbishop’s prayer for a new Auxiliary Bishop: “Last summer I went for the first time on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Fatima and among my intentions was a prayer that we might soon be blessed with a new Auxiliary Bishop. Tomorrow’s date was Fr Robert’s choosing, not mine, but it cannot fail to prompt me and all of us to give our thanks to God for the loving patronage of Our Lady of Fatima.”

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Pilgrimage will also be graced with the presence of the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, brought from its shrine in the Diocese of Northampton. Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster formally handed over the Miraculous Relic Image to the care of Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, in a ceremony in the Church of The Holy Child and St Joseph, Bedford, on 29 Sept 2012