Lourdes Pilgrimage 2012 - Wednesday 29th August

On the morning of Wednesday 29th August the Catholic Association pilgrimage went en masse to the famous baths ('piscines') in the Lourdes Sanctuary to pray and wash in the water as St. Bernadette did in 1858.

After lunch the pilgrimage celebrated a lively Mass that was organised by children. It was particularly special as it marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of The Glanfield Group which brings sick and disabled children and adults with learning difficulties to Lourdes.

The Glanfield Group gathered for the Mass organised by children.

A large congregation gathered in the Underground Basilica
for the Mass organised by children.

Carmelites among the congregation.

Vibrant music at the Mass organised by children.

Children from the Glanfield Group and the Helpers' Children's Programme acted out the Gospel story of Jesus calling his disciples and entrusting them with spreading the Good News.

Children acting out the Gospel

The three bishops taking part in the pilgrimage sprinkled the congregation - and each other - with water as a sign of renewed baptismal commitment to following Jesus Christ.

Children in fancy dress holding the water containers for the bishops.

Bishop Peter Doyle sprinkling the pilgrims with water

The sprinkling is both spiritually symbolic and good fun for the children
(and the young at heart)

Children animated different parts of the Mass, leading the congregation in prayers and hymns with actions.

Members of the Glanfield Group singing and gesturing "Here I Am Lord"

A number of helpers from the Glanfield Group sang the John Rutter anthem
'The Lord bless you and keep you'

Children leading the bidding prayers.

Pilgrims reaching out in prayer.

Children and adults sharing the sign of peace.

Children and the young-at-heart united in prayer.

The Mass ended with a rendition of the popular children's hymn "Rise and Shine"

After Mass the celebrations continued with the Glanfield Group hosting a party at its hotel to celebrate its 25th anniversary,

The Glanfield Group party.

Fr. Tony Lester, O.Carm., at the Glanfield Group party with fellow Carmelite pilgrims, in discussion with a Canadian PhD student who is researching modern-day pilgrimage.

Carmelite group pilgrimage director Johan Bergström-Allen
with Glanfield Group stalwart Errol Bracken.

Wednesday afternoon was a chance for pilgrims to relax a little. In the Accueil Notre Dame a stretcher and projector were rigged-up for showing residents the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and a film.

A chance to relax at a temporary cinema!

Relaxing with friends was the order of Wednesday evening with the Carmelite Group social held in the Hotel Gallia & Londres. This was a chance for members of the group to enjoy a drink with guests from the wider Catholic Association pilgrimage.

The Carmelite group party.

Many friends of the Carmelites from the wider pilgrimage joined the celebration.

Carmelite group assisted pilgrims and helpers relaxing together at the party.

Carmelite Brothers Ged Walsh (left) and Tony O'Donnell
relaxing after a full day's work serving pilgrims.

Carmelite group young helper Megan Allen
chatting at the party with Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton Diocese.

The Carmelite Prior Provincial, Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, spoke at the party of how glad he is that the Carmelites are in partnership with the Catholic Association and thanked all those who make the pilgrimage possible.

Fr. Wilfrid congratulated Brother Ged Walsh on his institution
as an acolyte during the pilgrimage.

Carmelite group young helpers Sophie Morgan and Megan Allen
at the party with Lay Carmelite Charmaine Jayasuriya.

Carmelite group members Jean Saunders (left) and Charlie Thermos. Jean had travelled from Ireland to take part in the pilgrimage, and Charlie from Australia.

Mary Okeke (right) and Joan Agba (centre) are volunteers from the Carmelite-served parish of English Martyrs in the London borough of Walworth.

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.; Photo Lacaze