Lourdes Pilgrimage 2012 - Tuesday 28th August

On the Tuesday morning of the Catholic Association (C.A.) pilgrimage, the various constituent groups and dioceses celebrate their own Masses.

For the Carmelite group this year's Eucharist was particularly poignant because it included Brother Gerard Walsh's institution in the ministry of acolyte.

Lay Carmelite pilgrims Charmaine Jayasuriya (left) and Angela Bergström-Allen
being taken by young helpers to the Carmelite group Mass in St. Patrick's Chapel.

Fr. Antony Lester, O.Carm., proclaiming the Gospel at the Carmelite group Mass.

The prayers of intercession were led by Hugh and Margaret Parry, friends of the Carmelite Family. During Mass the group prayed for Carmelite individuals and communities in Britain, and remembered all the members of the British Province who have died in the last year.

Brother Ged has been in formation as a Carmelite friar for a number of years, and in October will be making his Solemn Profession of Vows. He is also training to be a priest, and being made an acolyte is the final stage before he is ordained deacon in the coming months.

The Prior Provincial of the British Province of Carmelites, Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm., presided at the Mass and preached about the centrality of the Eucharist in the Christian life. He explained that the ministry of acolyte is an invitation for Ged to share more fully in the ministry of the Church, serving the Body of Christ both at the altar during worship and in Christ's Mystical Body, God's holy people.

Fr. Wilfrid blessing Br. Ged for his service as an acolyte.

Fr. Tony Lester giving Fr. Wilfrid the paten and chalice to present to Br. Ged.

Br. Ged was given the vessels containing bread and wine to be consecrated during the celebration of the Eucharist.

Part of the role of an acolyte is to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.

According to the Rite of Institution, Br. Ged now has the responsibility 'to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, and as a special minister to give Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy, and to the sick'.

Brother Ged has been serving the sick and disabled in Lourdes for many years, and was delighted that his institution as an acolyte could happen there. Words addressed to the acolyte in the Rite of Institution make a strong link between the sick and the Eucharist: "In performing your ministry bear in mind that, as you share the one bread with your brothers and sisters, so you form one body with them. Show a sincere love for Christ's Mystical Body, God's holy people, and especially for the weak and the sick."

To watch video footage of the Mass, click on the arrow in the YouTube box below.

After the Carmelite celebration of Mass the pilgrims posed for a group photograph.

The Carmelite group photographed by Durand.

The Carmelite pilgrims concluded the morning by going for coffee together.

Carmelites and friends sharing a moment of relaxation together.

Lay Carmelites Charmaine Jayasuriya and Monica Spalding enjoying coffee with a young helper from the Catholic Association.

On Tuesday afternoon pilgrims had the possibility of joining excursions into the Pyrenees mountains.

Volunteers working in the Accueil Notre Dame and hotels swapped over for the second half of the week.

A briefing for the new team coming to work in the Accueil Notre Dame.

In the evening a number of Carmelites joined the Glanfield Children's Group for night prayers on the terrace of the Hotel Mediterranee.

Glanfield Group Night Prayers.

The Glanfield Group ends each day with a short and simple time of reflection.

To read about the previous day please click here.
To read about the following day please click here.

Photography: Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.; Photo Durand