As already announced, the consecration of the abbey church of St. Gregory the Great at Downside, which has taken over half a century to build, will take place on Thursday, September 12. The ceremony will be performed by the Prince-Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Seredi, 0.S.B., who has been specially chosen by the Holy See for this purpose.
The fact that there are 19 altars to be consecrated makes this ceremony the biggest of its kind in England since the Reformation.
The ceremony will begin at 7.30 am.
and will end about 2. p.m. Cardinal MacRory, Archbishop of Armagh, will consecrate an altar dedicated in honour of hie martyred predecessor Blessed Oliver Plunket, whose body is in a shrine close to the altar.
In addition to the two cardinals, the following will be present and take part in the ceremony: The Archbishops of Westminster, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Malta, Hierapolis; the Bishops of Clifton, Southwark, Nottingham, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Lancaster, Northampton, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Brentwood, Cambysopolis, Thermopylae; the Abbot of St. Paul's-outside-the-walls at Rome; the the Abbot Primate of the confederated Benedictines; the Abbot President of the English Benedictines; the Abbots of Downside, Ampleforth, Douai, Fort Augustus. Belmont, Ramsgate, Farnborough, Buckfast; the titular Abbots of Glastonbury. Dunfermline and Leicester.
Certain privileges have been conferred by the Holy See to mark this occasion, the most outstanding being the advancement of the church to the dignity of a minor basilica—the only one in England.