Words by Anne Dowling. Pictures by Anne Dowling and Fr Josef Butscher.
The afternoon of Saturday 3 June was a bit chilly outside but there was lots of warmth shared by those who gathered in Kew for the Feast of Mary Queen of Apostles.
St Vincent Pallotti, who in 1835 founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate (UAC) with lay, religious and clergy as members, had a great devotion to Mary under this title. The Feast appropriately is celebrated on the day before Pentecost Sunday.
About 30 people gathered around a copy of an artwork that Pallotti commissioned his artist friend, Serafino Cesaretti, to paint. It shows Mary as Queen of the Apostles with some women and with the apostles gathered in prayer in the Cenacle or Upper Room at the coming of the Spirit.
This vision of the Cenacle plays an important role in the life of the UAC, which is also known as the Pallottine Family. The Cenacle is the place for the community of disciples to meet, catch up with, support each other and prayer. Then they go back out enlivened with God’s Spirit to be apostles in the world. And so it was at the Pallottine Missionary College in Kew, but with the addition of a sausage sizzle.
Over a shared meal, people caught up with old friends and made new ones. There were long term members as well as new ones and others who are ‘family friends’.
We were blessed with a rain-free function. This was the first time we had celebrated this feast in this way, but it now promises to be an annual event. Thanks go to the priests who hosted and to all the other members of the UAC who contributed in any way.