Lourdes Pilgrimage 2011 - Tuesday 23rd August

On Tuesday morning the Carmelite group within the Catholic Association gathered in St. Patrick's Chapel to celebrate a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This was an opportunity to pray in a particular way for the Carmelite Family in the British Province and beyond. The Eucharist was celebrated by the Prior Provincial, Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, who was accompanied at the altar by Frs. Francis Kemsley and Tony Lester. During the bidding prayers members of the British Province - friars, sisters and laity - who have died in the last year were remembered.

The Carmelite group Mass.

Karisha George, a Carmelite young helper, proclaiming the Word of God.

After the Carmelite Mass the group members (at least those who were not on duty as helpers!) posed for a photograph.

The Carmelite group photo by Photo Durand.

One of the special features of coming to Lourdes with the Catholic Association is that, because of the C.A.'s size, it is possible to bring severely sick and disabled pilgrims because a large number of helpers are on hand. About half of the Carmelite group act as volunteers in one form or another.

(left-right) Mary Okeke, Joan Agba and Terri Betts are all Carmelite helpers.
Mary and Joan are parishioners from the Carmelite-served parish of English Martyrs
in Walworth, south London.

Brother Ged Walsh (left) and David Monteith are among the Carmelite helpers
caring for Assisted Pilgrims in the Accueil Notre Dame.

Carmelite group member Matthew Betts became the Catholic Association's
Chief Brancardier (coordinator of male helpers) this year.

On Tuesday afternoon pilgrims were offered a choice of excursions into the Pyrenean mountains. Assisted Pilgrims were transported to the beautiful resort of Gavarnie in a coach specially-modified for wheelchair users.

The 'Cirque de Gavarnie' is a beautiful expanse of the Pyrenees bordering on Spain.

Lay Carmelite Suzanne Phillips (left) accompanied her good friend
Rosemary Calvert on an excursion to the mountains.

Suzanne and Rosemary at Gavarnie.

It's thirsty work going on pilgrimage! Carmelite group member Jean Saunders
takes a break from carrying our banner to carry some ice-creams instead.

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Photographs courtesy of: Angela Bergström-Allen; Johan Bergström-Allen; Photo Durand.