Some 30 HCPT Group Leaders and others met for a weekend of renewal
at Hosanna House on 3rd to 5th November 2006.
Hosanna House is a large
hostel set in the countrysde of the foothills of the Pyrenees
near Bartres, Lourdes France
and is ideal for reflection alone or with others.
is rather different in November than over Easter. Gone are the
crowds of pilgrims, and many of the shops and hotels that cater for
them are closed. The Grotto is calmer with even the noise made
by the guttering of candles in the chilly breeze, clearly audible.
Autumn or the Fall season is giving rise to a mass of November colour,
as the leaves of the trees lose their green and turn to various
shades of orange yellow and mauve.
30 people of completely different backgrounds and origins had
one main thing in common, namely their enthusiasm for HCPT
and its family group system. Two girls from the American Special Children's Group even travelled out from New York and Pennsilvania for the meetings.
We started the weekend as strangers and ended
as friends. There were many discussions and exchanges of ideas.
Not a little
wine was enjoyed during our times together and the atmosphere
was pervaded thoughout by much love and laughter but this did not
crowd out the times for also sharing of some of the uphill struggles
that everyone encounters in life.
HCPT Group leaders are usually responsible for
a dozen or so disabled children when in Lourdes over Easter Week
so a renewal week end in November gave a much needed but very brief,
opportunity, to experience the town and its places of prayer,
without distraction. We also greatly appreciated the opportunity
of getting to know each other, which will I am sure add much to our
I am sure that we will
enjoy a reunion sometime during Easter Week 2007