Tuesday, 24 May 2011

St Richard’s Catholic College’s pilgrimage to Lourdes

St Richard's HCPT Lourdes Group
St Richard's reports that: "Twenty-one Year 11 pupils and 3 staff from St. Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill, joined the HCPT Pilgrimage to Lourdes at Easter as a Service Group. During the week the pupils supported the whole pilgrimage activities including marshalling the torchlight procession of 8,000 people and carrying banners in processions.

The group acted as specific helpers for the children in Group 154. On the Friday, there was a coach journey up the mountain to Gavarnie. The St. Richard’s pupils had a day playing with the children, helping them enjoy donkey rides, playing football and leading the music for a Mass for both groups which was held in the open air with the snow-capped mountains in the background.

Other highlights of the week included a visit to the grotto, where prayer requests from school and parishes were placed, as well as placing a large candle decorated by the pupils with the names of people they wanted to pray for.
The year 11s enjoyed getting to know the children from Group 154, singing in the choir at the Regional Mass and taking part in the sing-songs in cafés around Lourdes. One pupil summed the whole week up: “It was an amazing experience and I definitely want to go back.”

The pupils shared their faith, their kindness and their time with thousands of pilgrims, to ensure that disabled and disadvantaged children have an amazing Pilgrimage in Lourdes. The pupils are keen to continue to support the work of HCPT and return as helpers in the future. Angela Brennan, chaplain at St. Richard’s, said: “I am so proud of the pupils’ hard work, enthusiasm and care that they showed to everyone they met in Lourdes. We would like to thank all the clergy, parishioners, family and friends who supported their fundraising efforts.”

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