The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Parish Magazine - Nov/Dec 2004

Page 5 of 21 Read 668 Times

"Listen & Learn" (Cont.)


Thursday

- Our Mass this morning was at the chapel of St Theresa in the underground basilica. During this Mass pilgrims received the oils and individual anointing of the sick. At the end of Mass everyone who wished received hands on healing from Fr. Phil. During the Mass many hymns were sung. After lunch the fit and able bodies of our group walked the high Stations of the Cross. The less able took the opportunity to have a rest or a wonder around. The sun broke though for us which helped us to climb the steep embankment. The reflections, which Fr Phil, said at each Station made it a memorable and moving occasion. A relief was felt by some when we reached the bottom. Some went for a final look around the many churches and shops while others had a well-earned drink. During our final evening meal Colin gave out the answers to our quiz. Most of us did well. Kevin was the only one to get 19 out of 20. During dinner a presentation was made to Fr Phil & Mary by way of expressing our thanks. After dinner everyone in our group was lead by Peter carrying our banner to join the many thousands of pilgrims in our final torchlight procession. Immediately after the procession our group went to light one candle for the whole parish. Two of the group who could not attend the Mass when we had the anointing of the sick received the oils and blessing surrounded by the whole group and the many candles by the Grotto. This was very moving for everyone. Most of the group then headed for a farewell night-cap. As usual some of the group including wheelchairs went back to the Grotto at midnight. The atmosphere at this time with no electric lights only candle light makes it a memory that will linger in our minds and hearts over the years of this lovely peaceful and heavenly place.

Friday

- Leaving Lourdes (not a happy feeling) a few found time to visit the Grotto and leave a rose at the Crowned Status saying 9 Hail Mary’s and hoping one day you will return the finish the decade. We departed our hotel at 9.30am. "Love and tenderness fills Lourdes. It has touched us all whilst we have been here. It is our responsibility and duty to bring this back home and pass to on to everyone we met." Our final Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated back home in St Theresa’s before our farewells and promise to met up again to show the photos.
A few final comments from pilgrims: "The highlight of Lourdes for me was in the joy of my friend. I know she couldn’t have made it without a lot of help because of her disabilities. But I shall never forget the delight and pleasure on her face and the laughter that we shared"
"The spirit of happiness, peace and joy was always present. Everyone experienced care and help and compassion from being together on this wonderful pilgrimage."
"Great hotel and lovely rooms. All the helpers were great to everyone. One has to see all this to realise how beautiful it is. Thomas & Nora pushed me all week. Thomas threatened to let go of the chair but he did not. The evenings in the bar / café drinking tea, coffee or whatever. "
"The days were long, but filled with interest and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other as friends. The Shrine to Our Lady, located in the very place she appeared to St Bernadette, is beautifully preserved and enhanced every year so that the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world are given the opportunity of spending long times of prayer, singing and joining the sacred processions from morning 'til the late hours of the night. If you’ve not yet visited Lourdes, put yourself on the waiting list for 2005, I have.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us."



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Published Mon 27th Dec 2004 18:21:50

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