Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage
“Do whatever he tells you”
Our Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage takes place this year from Friday 24th to Friday 31st August
You will be able to follow the Pilgrimage with the help of videos, podcasts and pictures below each day
Lourdes is a town in south west France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, or the Domain, a major pilgrimage site. Each year, millions visit the Grotto of Massabielle (Grotto of the Apparitions) where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Bernadette, a local woman. In the grotto, pilgrims can drink or bathe in water flowing from a spring.
Leaving St Teresa's on Thursday 23rd
A special Mass was held at St Teresa’s in Filton as the coach and Jumbulance were being loaded with all the suitcases and provisions for the trip down to Lourdes.
Mgr Liam Slattery welcomed everyone who was travelling by coach and a few who are to fly tomorrow.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his first reflection
Mgr Liam Slattery’s Homily at the leaving Mass
Saturday 25th August
Today we, the Clifton Pilgrims, together with the other dioceses and organisations that make up the Catholic Association, gather in St Bernadette’s Church for our first Mass together.
A pilgrimage is more than a journey. It is an encounter between a people of faith and God. Pilgrims journey with one another sharing their faith and celebrating it especially in the Mass. As we remember our Diocesan family at today’s Mass, please pray for us as we respond to Our Lady’s call to come in procession to the Grotto of Massabielle.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his reflection from the Grotto
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus at Cana in Galilee
Monsignor Tony Rodgers gives the Homily at the Gathering Mass
Sophie enthuses about being a helper
Sunday 26th August
This morning saw us all venture down to the underground Basilica for the International Mass. As Mgr Liam explains, thisis a very special part of the Lourdes Pilgrimage.
Lead Bishop, Arch Bishop Peter Smith of Southwark spoke with Phil Gibbons about leading the Pilgrimage and what Lourdes means to him.
Phil also spoke with Fr Nick King who is the Chaplain to the sick here in Lourdes. He also explains what Pilgrims should be looking for in Lourdes, whether they are experienced returners or if it’s their first pilgrimage.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his reflection from inside the Underground Basilica
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his reflection ahead of the Torchlight Procession
Arch Bishop Peter Smith on leading this year’s Pilgrimage
Fr Nick King tells us why he keeps returning to Lourdes
Monday 27th August
Mary said to Bernadette “Would you do me the favour of coming here?” The Grotto, in the heart of the Sanctuary area, is where our Clifton Pilgrims gather on Monday morning for an open air Mass. At the Grotto, the place which Bernadette described as “my Heaven”, they will focus on Mary, help of the sick. As we pray for our sick pilgrims and all who serve those who are in pain, let us ask Mary to help us deepen our life of prayer and faith so that we may be inspired to see as God sees and may therefore more effectively serve God and one another. The call to reconciliation is part of the message of Lourdes and our afternoon Penitential liturgy will focus on the theme “Do whatever he tells you”. It will be an opportunity to confess sins that have broken our relationship with God and with our neighbour, and a time to reflect on moments when we have failed in genuine love.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his reflection of the day outside the Basilica just after the Grotto Mass
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Mgr Tony Rodgers gives a great Homily at the Grotto Mass
Mgr Tony Rodgers gives his second Homily at the Penitential service
Tuesday 28th August
Tuesday takes us to Bartres, a small village on the outskirts of Lourdes, where Bernadette stayed as a child. Our day starts with Mass in the Church of St John the Baptist, during which Mgr Liam Slattery will give a welcome to Lourdes on behalf of Bishop Declan.
After Mass, our celebrations will continue over lunch in a local restaurant.
As we gather together as a Diocesan family, let us listen to God’s voice, to our Lady’s call and to Bernadette’s message so that we too will be able to say, “The Almighty has done great things for me!”
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his reflection in the Church of John the Baptist in Bartres
Here is a short video about our day out in Bartres
Mgr Liam Slattery gives the Homily in Bartres
Mgr Liam Slattery speaks with us as we walk the Stations of the Cross and explains about the importance of these as we walk. Mgr Sean Healy leads the walk.
Wednesday 29th August
Wednesday – The Baths and the Stations of the Cross
“Go and drink at the spring” – (Mary to Bernadette 25th February 1858)
In the liturgy water is used, especially in the Baptism ceremony, to symbolise “the washing away of original sin”.
In a simple act of faith, imitating Bernadette’s actions of drinking and washing, pilgrims come to Lourdes to find purification of body and soul.
This morning, our Clifton Pilgrims have the opportunity to visit the baths to immerse themselves in the water. Many healings are associated with it. Bernadette said, “This water would have no virtue without faith.” It is God who heals through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and through the prayers of the faithful. Let us ask Mary, comforter of the afflicted, to intercede for those who need healing.
This afternoon our pilgrims will climb the hill of the Espelugues to discover the 115 statues that make up the 14 stations of the Passion of Christ. At each station they will reflect upon Jesus’ suffering and death.
Pope Francis, in his prayer to Our Lady, used these words “You who stood steadfast by the cross with unshakeable faith and welcomed the joyful consolation of the resurrection, you gather the disciples to wait for the Spirit, so that the evangelizing Church be born”. We are that Church, called to be a people of Hope, called to be witnesses, by the life we lead.
In the afternoon, the Mass is in honour of all those with the Lourdes Pilgrimage – Mass with presentation of Hospitalite Insignia.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his daily reflection opposite the Grotto and Baths
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his second daily reflection opposite the Grotto in the evening
Mgr Tony Rodgers gives hi s daily Homily
Fr Simon Blakesley is the Director of the Catholic Association Lourdes Pilgrimage. He gives his views on Lourdes and tells us how this year’s Pilgrimage is going
Thursday 30th August
Since 1858, many sick pilgrims have come to Lourdes led by their faith. Here, “in Bernadette’s footsteps”, remembering that she herself was sick, they find hope, love and companionship.
On this our final day in Lourdes, we gather for the “anointing of the sick” and for our final thanksgiving Mass.
We pray that our sick pilgrims may receive the grace to accept their sufferings and offer them up lovingly to God. We also give thanks for our week in Lourdes and ask for the graces to recognise that the Almighty has indeed done great things for us.
Mgr Liam Slattery gives his daily reflection looking down at the Grotto
Fr Michael Thomas gives us his thoughts on the final evening.
Mgr Tony Rodgers gives his daily Homily at the Anointing of the sick Mass
Mgr Tony Rodgers gives us his final Homily of the Pilgrimage at the Thanksgiving Mass