Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Pilgrimage to Fatima for the Feast Day with the Pope

Led by Fr Stephen Hardaker (pictured right) and Fr Terry Martin (picuted centre) a pilgrimage group from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton went this year to Spain and Portugal.

They started there pilgrimage in Avila, the home of that great Carmelite saint, Teresa of Avila.  They next travelled to Fatima via Salamanca, a university town with as ancient a history as Oxford & Cambridge. In Fatima that evening, after Mass they were able to join in with the International Rosary and Candlelight Procession. The following day they had a comprehensive tour of Fatima including the new Holy Trinity church with a capacity of 9,000 seated!

In the afternoon they went to Aljustrel the home of the three little shepherds who had the vision of Mary. They were then present in Fatima for the International Rosary that night led by The Holy Father. Amongst 650,000 all jostling for space, it was a very special moment that all the pilgrims will always remember.

The next day they made the long journey to Santiago de Compostela via Combria for Mass in the Convent of St Theresa, where Sister Lucy, one of the visionaries used to live. In Santiago they were able to pray at the shrine of St James.

It proved to be all in all a long but enjoyable journey, a pilgrimage with a real difference - a visit from the Pope! The group with grateful for the patience, inspirational sermons and wonderful spiritual guidance from Fr. Stephen and Fr. Terry. In additon Deacon Ian Wells (pictured left above), who travelled with us a pilgrim, but whose help to the priests was invaluable.

A fuller version of this story should appear in a future addition of A&B News

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