An invitation has been issued to join the annual Diocese of East Anglia pilgrimage to Lourdes in August, reports pilgrimage director, Deacon John Morrill.
Every year East Anglia takes part in a much larger pilgrimage to Lourdes at the end of August – this year it is Friday August 23 to Friday August 30. We join with several other English dioceses, with young people from schools in this and those other dioceses, with up to 30 doctors and nurses and with the Glanfield Group of those with great physical or mental challenges for a week of prayer, activity and sociability. All are welcome. Here are some key benefits of the pilgrimage:
- The unique sense of being in a place where holiness is so much more tangible
- The chance to pray in the grotto where Our Lady revealed herself to a simple, illiterate girl, Bernadette and brought healing and hope to millions who share in the experience
- Daily Mass and all kinds of other shared worship – processions, stations of the cross, reconciliation, going down into the waters of the spring which miraculously appeared as Bernadette responded to a request from Our Lady.
- This year, a chance to go as a diocesan group up to Bartres where Bernadette spent two periods of her childhood for a Holy Hour in a church very much as she knew it and in the presence of relics of her.
- To travel out as a group from Stansted, met at the airport and taken to our hotels where we get very well fed and watered on a full-board arrangement. Our preferred hotel, La Chapelle, is the one closest to the heart of Lourdes and to the Grotto. Single, twin and double rooms all available.
- For the able-bodied and those needing assistance to share in all these experiences and to learn from one another
- To be led by Bishop Alan, assisted by about ten of our diocesan priests and three or four of our deacons.
- Information including application forms, if at all possible returned by 2 June 2, are available from your parishes and myself as diocesan director (details below).
- We are also looking for more nurses and young helpers, so contact from them is especially welcome. They seem to have an even better time than all the other pilgrims!
For those with a limited knowledge of Lourdes and its history. There are many resources online. For some visual images of what a pilgrimage is like, go to ‘Lourdes’ on any search engine and click on ‘videos’ and a rich variety of short films is available to give a ‘flavour’ of what it is like. We are hoping soon to have our own video but for the moment, look out for the Westminster or Salford dioceses offerings! And think about coming to Lourdes in August – but beware, it can be very addictive!
Contact: Deacon John Morrill, Diocesan Director for the Lourdes Pilgrimage, 1, Bradfords Close, Bottisham, Cambridge CB25 9DW / firstname.lastname@example.org / 01223 811822 / 07956 536140
Pictured above is the East Anglia group in Lourdes last year.