News and views from Lourdes

Above is a photo from of our "catechetical Mass" by Mulier Fortis (see her blog for other posts about our Lourdes trip.) Many of us went to the baths in the afternoon and others today. Several of the children told me today that this was their most important experience of Lourdes.

After Mass, we did the Stations of the Cross - many thanks to Wendy for her photos. You can see above that one of our young pilgrims did the Stations barefoot - he remembered going barefoot for the Holy Mile at Walsingham and just took off his shoes and socks without any prompting; they were put on again to run down the hill at the end.

Here we are at the foot of the Stations, at the Celtic Cross - the parents wanted a photo of me and all the children:

One young server got a shoulder-carry from Mum for part of the torchlight procession in the evening:

At the end of the procession, I joined the clergy for the blessing, led by Bishop McGough, Auxiliary in Birmingham. Here is a view of the pilgrims over the shoulders of two fellow priests:

Today we had a quieter Mass in the morning, followed by various trips out. I joined the one going up the Pic du Jer via the funicular railway. There are good views of the Pyrenees from the summit, as well as an overview of Lourdes:

We also enjoyed enjoyed the "Petit Train" which manoeuvred expertly through the town to the foot of the hill.

Fr Briggs found the journey interesting despite his varied experience of foreign travel, including his attempt to extend the reconquista to North Africa which we recalled at the top of the hill.

This evening, to give the parents a rest, I led a session for the children at which we said the Rosary, interspersed with catechesis and questions about various doctrines of the faith. This was followed by various worksheets prepared by Mac. These included things called "Wordsearch". The children are used to these at school but I am not, so I amused them by blatantly copying Caitlin's work, and then hamming up the sentence completion exercise.

Tomorrow morning, we have Mass in the parish Church at 9.30am. This will be a sung Mass: perhaps a High Mass if we can persuade a further cleric to join us.

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