Early start for Lourdes pilgrims from East Anglia

Diocese of East Anglia needs a Director of Music
August 18, 2023
Pilgrimage to retrace Cardinal Wolsey’s historic route
August 22, 2023
Show all

Early start for Lourdes pilgrims from East Anglia


There was an early morning start for this year’s Diocese of East Anglia pilgrimage to Lourdes on Friday August 18 with a 6.30am check-in at Stansted Airport, reports pilgrimage director, Dcn Huw Williams.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 9am and, after a slight delay, we arrived at our homes for the week in Lourdes in time for a late-ish lunch. We started our time in Lourdes with Mass in the Chapel of St Maximilian Kolbe for the ‘early arrivals’ – the pilgrimage proper began on Saturday.

A gentle start to Saturday allowed people to settle in – especially those who flew in from Birmingham following several hours of delay, and the opening Mass of the pilgrimage, presided over by our own Bishop Peter Collins, was held at 4.30pm. 

Sunday started with the International Mass presided over by Jozef Cardinal de Kesel in a packed Basilica pf St Pius X. The Cardinal spoke to us in his homily about the difficulties the early Church had in welcoming pagans and how in overcoming this, the Church had grown and is, quoting Isaiah, “a house of prayer for all the peoples”. Pilgrims from our Catholic Association group read at the Mass and offered general intercession and Bishop Peter led for part of the Eucharistic prayer.

A luncheon was held to thank the East Anglian nursing staff who so ably support our assisted pilgrims in the Hospitalité de Notre Dame de Lourdes.  Without their support we could not bring our assisted pilgrims without whom the pilgrimage would lose much of its raison d’être.

On the Sunday evening we were due to attend the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, but in a change, due to the excessive heat, this will take place entirely in the underground basilica.

Pictured above is the International Mass at Lourdes. Picture courtesy of Lourdes YouTube.

You can watch Masses from the Catholic Association pilgrimage on their YouTube channel here.

Read our other reports from Lourdes below

East Anglia pilgrims make most of Lourdes blessings

East Anglia pilgrimage to Lourdes comes to an end