Fr Darren, in company with four young people from the parish (Emma, Josh, Nisha & Peter), set off today to join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Before they left for the journey, they knelt before the statue of our Lady in church, and Fr Loughran prayed with them for a safe journey, and for the opportunity to draw closer to Jesus through Mary. They have promised to pray for the parishioners and have taken with them the petitions handed in at the Presbytery.
Our young people have spent the last six months preparing for this pilgrimage as part of the Diocesan youth team. Over the last six months they have attended meetings and a residential weekend where they have learned about Lourdes and how to care to the sick pilgrims that they will be looking after. This is a great opportunity for our young people to encounter Christ in those they care for and also to encounter Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary in this special place where many prayers are answered through her intersession.
Each day Fr Darren and the young people will take it in turns to carry the sealed envelope containing the Lourdes petitions and pray for those intentions as we visit the Grotto and other opportunities of times of prayer. Fr Darren will also offer Mass on Sunday the 21st July for all those intentions. On the last evening the prayer petitions will be placed in the Grotto for pilgrims to continue to pray for your intention.
Peter Williams said, "I have been looking forward to the trip to Lourdes for a long time now, and I can't believe that the time has finally arrived for us to go! I feel really excited about the whole thing, and I am looking forward to meeting lots of people and making new friends. I think it will be really special to help other people in Lourdes and I feel it is a great honour to be taking part in the pilgrimage. Hopefully the whole experience will be amazing!"
Josh Hunter said, "I am very excited about the trip to Lourdes although I'm not entirely sure what to expect. I have been told by many people who have gone on the trip that it is one of enlightenment and a great experience, so personally I cannot wait to arrive"
Nisha said, "I am so excited that we are leaving for Lourdes in a matter of hours! I hope that as well as serving others on the pilgrimage, my faith will deepen and that I will grow closer to Our Lady"
Many thanks go to the parishioners who have support this pilgrimage through attending or buying tickets for the fund raising events that have taken place over the last year. Also thanks to those people who have made donations to the fund. Thanks also goes to the following organisations that have contributed:
- The Parish SVP The Catenian Association
- The knights of St. Columba
- We will pray for you all at the Grotto in Lourdes, we also ask you to pray for us as we make this pilgrimage.