The first was for new members of the Catholic Association Hospitalité, that is, the confraternity (religious society) for helpers. The C.A. Hospitalité undertakes much of the practical care of pilgrims in Lourdes, and provides its members with practical and spiritual formation, and social networking. After serving in Lourdes for a certain number of years, helpers on the pilgrimage can apply to join the C.A. Hospitalité as 'ordinary' or 'full' members. The first meeting at the Accueil was for those making their commitment this year as members of the Hospitalité.
New orindary and full members of the Catholic Association Hospitalité
receiving a briefing on the roof of the Accueil building in the Sanctuary.
Over 300 volunteers make the pilgrimage possible.
Their briefing on the first morning took place in the Accueil dining room.
Carmelite Prior Provincial Fr. Wilfrid McGreal (left) welcoming some members
of the Carmelite group pilgrimage during a meeting at the Hotel Solitude.
Carmelite priests and fellow clergy processing into the church with the Gospel book
Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton Diocese preaching at the Gathering Mass.
A member of the Carmelite group, Shell Roca, signed throughout the pilgrimage
for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Carmelite group young helper Sophie Morgan (centre) joined the CA Music Group
Helpers having their hands anointed for service
by Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton.
Sr. Maureen McNally, FC, Carmelite group nurse,
having her hands anointed for service.
Fr. Wilfrid (centre) and Bishop Paul Hendricks (left)
anointing helpers' hands.
The anointing is a symbol that during the pilgrimage the helpers will be reaching out with Christ's healing touch to others, and will be encountering Christ in others.
Carmelite friar Fr. Tony Lester (left) having his hands anointed for service by
Monsignor Tony Rogers of East Anglia Diocese.
Even the very youngest pilgrims can help serve others in Lourdes.
Praising God in the Eucharist
Bishop Declan presiding at the Eucharist
Fr. Tony Lester distributing Holy Communion
to fellow Carmelite group pilgrim Helen Carroll
The pilgrimage Heads of Service coming forward
to welcome new members of the Hospitalité.
Membership of the Hospitalité is shown by wearing a small insignia badge bearing the crest of the Catholic Association. These were blessed by the Patron of the Hospitalité, Rt. Rev. Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton.
Bishop Peter Doyle blessing the insignia of the C.A. Hospitalité
Bishop Peter presenting insignia to new members of the C.A. Hospitalité
Mark Fernandes receiving his insignia as a member of the C.A. Hospitalité.
being called forward to become full members of the C.A. Hospitalité.
Bishop Peter presenting insignia to new full members of the C.A. Hospitalité from within the Carmelite group: Brother Ged Walsh, Joan Agba, Jean Saunders
Fr. Tony Lester congratulating Stephen Daly on his admission to the Hospitalité
New and full members of the Hospitalité making their act of consecration, promising to serve fellow pilgrims in Lourdes, and the sick and disabled in their home environment.
Hospitalité members committing themselves to serve in Lourdes and at home.
The new C.A. Hospitalité members received a warm round of applause.
Pilgrims at prayer in the Gathering Mass.
Brother Tony O'Donnell at the Gathering Mass with parishioners from the
Carmelite-served parish of English Martyrs, Walworth.
Brother Tony visiting an Assisted Pilgrim from the Carmelite group
in the Accueil Notre Dame.
Carmelite group volunteers (left-right):
Brother Gerard Walsh, Shell Roca, Sophie Morgan.
Brother Tony doing quality control on the tea trolley in the Acceuil Notre Dame!
Every evening the team leaders of the young helpers meet to review the day
and to plan ahead for the next part of the pilgrimage.
Carmelite volunteers joining fellow Catholic Association volunteers
in forming a 'human chain' to direct the Torchlight Marian Procession.
Catholic Association helpers carrying the statue of Our Lady
in the Torchlight Marian Procession.
Banners lining up for the Procession.
Undaunted by rain, the C.A. pilgrims line up for the Torchlight Marian Procession.
Catholic Association helpers alongside the statue of Our Lady.
Members of the Helpers' Children's Programme carring the cross
in the Torchlight Marian Procession.
The Procession was followed by a party for helpers
on the first full evening of the pilgrimage.
Photography: Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.; Photo Lacaze