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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 16th July 2023 Posted on Saturday 15 July 2023

Lourdes Pilgrimage

The Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage takes place from this Friday 21st July until the end of the following week. Fr Peter will be departing earlier with one of the Liverpool coach groups of young people who will be joining the pilgrimage and helping with the sick pilgrims. This summer, the Archdiocese of Liverpool will be celebrating 100 years since its first official pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have made the journey over to the south of France every year, with the exception of during World War II and the Covid-19 pandemic.

But what should people expect from the centenary year pilgrimage?  Fr Grant Maddock, trustee of the Liverpool Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage association and one of the lead organisers has been has spoken about the importance of this year’s pilgrimage. He said.  “Celebrating our centenary year is an incredible achievement, the pilgrimage is always a truly special occasion, but this year it has much more significance.

“This year we have a strong focus on living the pilgrimage through the lens of the assisted pilgrims, we have made some changes to make the pilgrimage much more varied for them. We wanted to do this to put them back at the heart of the pilgrimage.

“This year, the assisted pilgrims will have the opportunity to have an afternoon out to Hosanna House and have a picnic there. They will have time to sit on the far side of the grotto and have time for reflection and prayer there in a quiet surrounding. We are also planning a bespoke garden party for them.

“We are delighted that the Jumbulance will be travelling to Lourdes with us this year, allowing more assisted pilgrims to join us.”

Even if you are not travelling to Lourdes in the summer, then there is an opportunity to join in with the centenary celebrations.

Fr Grant said: “The centenary celebrations are for the whole archdiocesan family and we want to reach wider than just those travelling to Lourdes with us.

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes; O ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favours, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.

Following on from the Inauguration of the Vice Chancellor of Hope University last week we host their Summer Graduations in our Cathedral this coming week. There are ceremonies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. To all who are travelling on pilgrimage or on holiday over the next few weeks I wish you a safe journey and hope you have rest and enjoyment.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean