We have returned!!

                                    Salford Diocese 86th Lourdes pilgrimage - 2018
                                                                                                                
St Chads Deanery group


    A truly great trip was had by all, new people travelling with us for the first time, and so new friendships made.  Masses shared, friendship shared (beer shared).  The week seemed to fly by.                                                                          

The wonderful crowned Virgin Statue
Our Lady of Lourdes asked us to "come in procesion" and so each year this is what we do. Of course there are some hardships along the way, usually to do with the time you have to wait these days at the airport.  But the travel difficulties aside (and I think pilgrimages are not supposed to be too easy), we soon realised that once again we had a wonderful group of people travelling with us this year, eagerly 


waiting to join up with the rest of those who had travelled with the Diocese, over 550 people this year.  From day one in Lourdes all went very smoothly, and each of the groups soon got into the swing of the pilgrimage, with a very full programme having been put together by the Diocesan organisers.
Above, getting ready for our St. Chad's Deanery group photograph.
In Lourdes, there are plenty of Masses and Rosaries offered, but along side the praying, there is plenty of socialising and mixing together, learning about one another, and sharing our time.  Sometimes this socialising went on long into the night...….that's all I will say!!
For anyone who has never been to Lourdes, there are moments that can catch you  off guard.  Moments that are very powerful and very moving.  It is in these moments that you get a sense of something very wonderful happening in Lourdes.  Visiting the Grotto, the baths, the stations of the cross or the service of reconciliation, all these things can mean different things to different people, but you can be assured that there are times which will pull at you spiritual heart strings.
Getting ready for the English Mass at the Grotto, lead by Bishop Mark Davies, and the homily given By Bishop John.

Jesus takes up his cross

One of the "New" lower stations of the cross.  Although they have been in Lourdes for some years now, they have recently been moved from the open space on the prairie to a place under the trees .  On the whole this was a good idea as it shades against the sun, but for a group the size of the Diocesan pilgrims which can be up the 300, (the rest do the high stations) it is a very tight squeeze. 

Photo Right

I think this was about the only  day it rained, and it did not last too long, the weather on the whole was hot and humid with a couple of clear and fresh days.

The banner was covered with plastic and so was well protected from the elements.

Below, getting ready for the twice weekly international mass.

ooOOoo


LOURDES LIVE
You are able to watch what is going on at the Grotto in Lourdes, live!
Simply press the play button on the right and you will view the live web cam from the Grotto
If the link does not work - try this link instead
-oOo-

Joining in with the Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes 2017

Members of the Salford Diocese youth (blue shirts), with the honour and the privilege of carrying the Virgin Statue during the torch light procession 


Yours truly, signing for the deaf community and trying to look as though I know what I am doing!

Every Mass and Service is always signed, so if you are deaf, or know someone who is, and you think they might like to come on  pilgrimage, why not ask them if they would like to come and join us?

oOo

Mass of the blessing of the sick
This is a beautiful mass, where the young people hold hands right around the church, thus, enfolding the entire community into their caring protection.  I always find this very moving indeed, and I thank God for our young helpers who work so long and hard during our week in Lourdes, they are a credit to their families and their communities back home.
oOo
Always smiles all round.
You might recognise these two!

Frs. Ged and Peter in procession for one of the masses at one of the many churches we used during our week together.

The said Mass!
People await the beginning of mass...