Last Sunday was the day of preparation for new and old helpers for HCPT Groups in the London Beaumont Region who hope to travel to Lourdes during Easter Week 2013.
Well over 100 people attended for the full day at St Georges School Weybridge, the majority of whom were I'd guess aged under 25. It always amazes me upon reading the press, listening to the radio and watching TV that very rarely are there reports about such involvements by young people (and even a few oldies) with people who have more obvious disabilities.
As for media reports about 5000 people travelling to and staying in Lourdes for Easter Week, they only seem to appear if there are features that may be criticised such as bars in Lourdes staying open late or say SNCF railway strikes.
The good news of so many people young and old spending often their own money (hotel and train and plane fares) on traveling to and helping at such a spiritual place rarely seems to interest the media unless matters go awry or where some valid criticisms may be made (humanity can after all be flawed). The absence of much commentary about the good news, especially in the national commercial press, never ceases to amaze. Perhaps bad news and criticisms sell newspapers but good news and stories of masses young people even being involved with some kind spirituality do not attract newspaper buyers. Nonetheless the journeys to Lourdes and the times there can be so amazing that such stories I should have thought would interest even the most hardened normally bad news buyer, of daily newspapers
The London Beaumont day of preparation covered a large number of practical and academic topics. Importantly the day also served the positive purpose of providing opportunities for new friends to be made and for renewing old acquaintances. We were divided into groups depending upon whether individuals were first timers, old timers medical or group leader people and attended sessions and talks of particular importance and interest of those in such groups..
A great success in my humble opinion not least because the fantastic Baghdad style cooking preparation by old Group 729 helper Bernadette from Iraq enabled us all to enjoy at great lunch together.