Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bishop Joins Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Redshirts welcome sick and helpers
Bishop Kieran has joined hundreds of pilgrims from Arundel & Brighton Diocese making the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. Despite the recent floods the Bishop was under no doubt that we should still go both to pray with and support the people of Lourdes who welcome us year by year.

Alongside Bishop Kieran there will be priests, deacons and lay people, but at the heart of the pilgrimage will be the sick pilgrims who form the focus and inspiration for this annual pilgrimage. The sick pilgrims come each year asking for the prayers of the Blessed Mary for the healing, consolation and support of her son Jesus.

Bishop Kieran joined nearly a hundred 15-17 year olds, known as Redshirts, for Mass on the day before the main pilgrimage leaves by train. They travel by coach across France starting two days before to arrive in time to be sure to welcome all the pilgrims arriving on the train especially the sick and disabled. The sight of these young people giving a joyous welcome to the train-weary pilgrims is a tonic for all.

The week in Lourdes will be a time of prayer, friendship and fun. At the heart of the pilgrimage Bishop Kieran points out in the Lourdes Pilgrims Handbook is the celebration of Mass, the source and summit of all that is done during the week. Linked and feed by the Eucharist the gifts of service and community spring forth. Hundreds of people from young to old work with and help the sick and disabled pilgrims to have a wonderful experience in Lourdes and they in turn are served by the prayer, patience and kindness of the sick and disabled.

To find out more about the pilgrimage go to www.dabnet.org and follow links to Lourdes Pilgrimage pages.

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