An historic event occurred at the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham on Thursday, 2nd March 2017 when Bishop Joseph Srampicka became the first Syro-Malabar bishop to say Mass in the 14th-century Slipper Chapel.
The Pontifical Mass was said in the Syro-Malabar rite which follows the East-Syrian liturgy which dates back to the third century, and today it's the second largest Eastern Catholic Church behind the Ukrainian Catholic Church with over five million members.
Bishop Joseph made a fleeting visit to Walsingham, along with Frs Terin Mullakkara and Fanzwa Pathil to discuss plans for the upcoming Tamil pilgrimage in July with Shrine Rector Mgr John Armitage.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is in full communion with the Bishop of Rome and in July last year Pope Francis established the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain with its See in Preston at St Alphonsa Cathedral.
Bishop Joseph was then appointed as the first Bishop/Eparch of the new Eparchy.
Up to 7,000 Tamils are expected to come on pilgrimage to Walsingham this year to pay homage to Our Lady of Walsingham.