A vintage year. Only three disabled children in the group but they
gave as much love and infectious happiness as if there were two or three times that number. There were also many able bodied child/helpers this year so
the Group was as tired and happy at the end as always.
Highlights included the group's first evening gathering in the prairie across from the grotto around a single candle and managing to sing from memory and song sheets in the dark.
Mass on the beach at St Jean de Luz then a picnic
in the sunshine with the rolling Atlantic breakers as a dramatic backdrop
were followed by the Group gathering for hot chocolates and coffee
under the awning of an elegant cafe in the Town's main square. The weather
then altered abruptly with snow, hail, thunder and lightning replacing the hot sunshine.
Bags and coats had to be lifted onto the tables from the stone floors
for fear of being flooded by the torrential downpours.
At 23:55 hours almost alone at the Grotto one night; a huge monstrance on the altar shrouded in swathes of incense gave a deep atmosphere in all senses of the word for private prayer and thoughts.
Table tennis at Hosanna House and the London Beaumont Region Sports day
on the prairie with the latter including 3 wheeled races were the sporting high lights.
Even the officials and others at Gatwick airport seemed to catch the sense of
community and happiness from ours and the other returning HCPT pilgrim Groups.
Amen for another great year.