An Invitation from Bishop Ralph to join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
I would like to invite parishioners from across the Diocese to join me on the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes which will take place from Sunday, 1st to Friday, 6th July.
This year is the 160th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to Bernadette. Each year around 450 people travel to Lourdes from the Diocese, including up to 200 young people from all of the diocesan High Schools.
During our time in Lourdes we gather as a Diocese in prayer together. It also provides a unique opportunity for people of all age ranges, from different parishes, to spend time together socially. These everyday encounters eg spending time in a café, or talking to someone over lunch, are also an important part of the pilgrimage. The strong bonds that are established between the young people on the pilgrimage and the pilgrims they assist are just one of the joys of the pilgrimage experience.
Lourdes is famous, of course, as a place of healing. Indeed on 11 February this year the 70th recognised miracle was declared. But there are of course many more healings that take place in Lourdes, in addition to the 70 recognised miracles. Some are physical, but there are many other forms of healing – eg emotional or spiritual.
Whatever our reasons may be for travelling on the pilgrimage, at the root should be the desire within each of us to deepen our personal relationship with God. That is the purpose of pilgrimage and it is the main message given to all pilgrims by the Rector and Chaplains of the shrine. This is why for many people the time spent in quiet prayer at the Grotto – either during the day, or late at night – is so special.
There are places still available on the pilgrimage and, thanks to the numbers of volunteer helpers and doctors and nurses travelling, one of the unique aspects of a diocesan pilgrimage is that we are able to take pilgrims who need care and assistance due to illness or frailty. Travel is by Charter flight direct to Lourdes from Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and the pilgrimage fare of £699 includes full board accommodation, all transfers, and taxes and levies.
For further details about the pilgrimage please telephone
Rose Shay on 07724 650066 or
Alex Prior on 01302 247910.