PARISHIONERS held a procession to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the Catholic church’s most venerated events.

Around 150 Catholics were presented with posies of flowers when they arrived at St Mary’s Church in Blackhill to take part in a procession to mark the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, when three children in Portugal reported an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

The procession, organised by the Blackhill Legion of Mary and overseen by Father Tom McHale, was followed by an outdoor Rosary, Adoration and Benediction then refreshments in the church hall

The Legion of Mary has 15 active members in the area and 70 auxiliary members, who offer support through daily prayer.

Parishioner Brian Robinson said: “I don’t think I am the only one who attended that would admit it was quite an emotional experience.

“The presence of the Holy Spirit can be very powerful, grown men were fighting to hold back their tears”.

“The West Derwentside partnership are a strong Catholic Community and I hope it isn’t long before we all gather again for an outside service where we can show how proud and pleased we are to be Catholics”.