The Diocese will be represented on the virtual pilgrimage by Professor John Morrill, a deacon based in Cambridgeshire, who will be speaking during one of the online sessions from August 21 to 28.
The Catholic Association is a UK-based charity that has been running pilgrimages to Lourdes for over 100 years. It comprises the diocesan pilgrimages of Clifton, East Anglia, Northampton, Southwark and Stonyhurst College, as well as the Glanfield Children’s Group. The Lourdes shrine attracts over six million visitors a year, which includes the CA pilgrimage of approximately 1000 people.
Each day of the virtual pilgrimage will begin with film giving a tour of the town and an account of the life of Bernadette. On the first evening there will be an opening talk by Bishop Paul Hendricks, Chairman of the Catholic Association and auxiliary bishop of Southwark.
There will then be conversations with people who have taken part in pilgrimages over the years, Stations of the Cross, and a mystery tour. Christopher Page, one of the trustees, will share his reflections on the Baths and Dr Nuala Meadows, the Chief Medical Officer, will also give a talk.
Flora Cooper Maddox, Project Manager of the pilgrimage, writes: “For all of us who love Lourdes – particularly when we come with people who are elderly, sick or who have disabilities – the pilgrimage is a very personal and spiritual experience.
“In lieu of being in France this year, The Catholic Association with The Stonyhurst Trust and your diocese will help to bring the spirit of Lourdes directly to you.
“With a selection of masses, prayer-time and reflections available online throughout the week, it will be as if we’re right there in the Domain as usual between August 21 – 28.
“The online pilgrimage will include adapted versions of many of our usual Masses and devotions, along with reflections from a number of pilgrims, young and old, sharing their experiences of Lourdes over the years.”
One highlight will be on Monday August 24 at 7:30pm when there will be a live community gathering entitled ‘Be Part of the Miracle’.
To join the virtual pilgrimage please go to: www.bepartofthemiracle.co.uk
If you have any queries you can email Flora Cooper Maddocks on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07427 605868.