Lourdes 2017

One of our long-standing pilgrims, as we were returning from Lourdes airport, remarked that he felt “it was the best pilgrimage ever”. Certainly it was a very happy pilgrimage, thanks to the hard work of our Diocesan Director, Fr Kieran Kirby, and the spiritual leadership of our Bishop.

We are fortunate enough to stay together in a first-class hotel very near to the Domain, which helps the pilgrims bond as a pilgrim family, and the buffet meals enable them to move around during the course of the pilgrimage.

G0022650P1080151The “highlights” will differ from person to person, for some it was spending some quiet time in the grotto, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette or in the beautiful Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament; for others it will have been the candlelight light Rosary Procession; the International Mass with tens of thousands of other Catholics from around the world in the underground basilica of St Pius X; the English-speaking Mass at the grotto or the Blessed Sacrament Procession.

P1070827P1080062As always, our young people brought a liveliness and prayerfulness to the group, as well as being untiring in the service of those pilgrims with mobility problems. They were ably shepherded and directed by Fr Anthony O’Gorman from Newquay. We were greatly blessed by having Emma & Tom Bonnard leading our music. This makes such a difference to the depth and prayer of our Diocesan liturgies as well as those liturgies we share with other dioceses.

G0042710One of those “special” moments is always the Mass and Anointing of the Sick, which we share with the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Cathedral of the Trees in the City of St Pierre followed by a picnic lunch in the sunshine, with which we were blessed throughout our pilgrimage.

P1070862The pilgrims, of course, bring the whole Diocese in prayer to Lourdes and Bishop Mark led us in intercession as our Diocesan family was symbolised by the candle lit opposite the grotto.

How about joining us in 2018?