Lourdes Pilgrimage 2012 - Thursday 30th August

On Thursday 30th August the Carmelites and other groups of the Catholic Association (C.A.) celebrated together the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick during a morning Eucharist.

Some practical notices from the Director of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage
Monsignor William Saunders.

Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton Diocese presided at the Mass.

Bishop Peter preached powerfully about the Sacrament of the Sick.

Priests laid hands in prayer on those receiving the Sacrament of the Sick.

Bishops and clergy prayed with outstretched arms for the healing of the sick.

Volunteer helpers from the pilgrimage holding up oil
being blessed for the Sacrament of the Sick.

Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, Carmelite Prior Provincial,
anointing a member of the Carmelite Third Order.

Carmelite friar and C.A. Chaplain to the Sick, Fr. Antony Lester,
anointing an assisted pilgrim.

After lunch the pilgrimage gathered again in the St. Bernadette Church for a closing Service of Thanksgiving.

Pilgrims thanked God for the graces received during the week in Lourdes.

At the Thanksgiving Service the Gospel was proclaimed by
Deacon David Wakefield, Director of the Clifton Diocesan Group.

Bishop Declan Lang preaching at the Thanksgiving Service.

Bishop Paul Hendricks, Chair of the Catholic Association, thanked those outgoing volunteers who have served in various official capacities on the pilgrimage.

At the end of the Thanksgiving Service the banners of the dioceses and groups that participate in the Catholic Association pilgrimage gathered on the sanctuary steps before processing to the Grotto.

Dioceses and groups united as a single pilgrimage.

Pilgrims processing from the St. Bernadette Church to the Grotto.

The Carmelite banner in the procession to the Grotto.

Processing over the River Gave to give thanks at the Grotto.

The procession headed for the Grotto, the very heart of Lourdes.

Having processed from the St. Bernadette Church over the river, there was an opportunity for Assisted Pilgrims to make a 'passage through the Grotto', praying for the last time during the pilgrimage at the place where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1858.

The pilgrimage banners in front of the Grotto.

As the pilgrims approached the Grotto the heavens opened!

Being in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Lourdes is often subject to heavy rain.

The downpour didn't dampen the deep sense of gratitude to God,
to Our Lady, and to fellow pilgrims at the end of the pilgrimage.

During the passage through the Grotto, the Carmelite group was able to deposit the many petitions (prayer requests) that had been submitted by post and by email by members of the Carmelite Family in Britain and around the world.

Angela Bergström-Allen of the Carmelite group
handing petition slips to a volunteer at the Grotto.

The hood of Brother Tony's habit offered some protection from the rain!

The wick of the pilgrimage candle was soaked by the rain
so was lit a while after the passage through the Grotto, prolonging the prayers
of the whole Catholic Association.

Thursday evening ended with a party in the Accueil Notre Dame for Assisted Pilgrims and their helpers.

To read a report of the previous day please click here.
To read a report of the following day please click here.

Photography: Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.