Sunday, April 12, 2015

HCPT Group 729 Pilgrimage to Lourdes Easter 2015

Having stood down  in 2011 as HCPT Group 35 leader after 40 years, retirement from further HCPT pilgrimages to Lourdes beckoned until the Headmaster of Donhead persuaded the Deputy Group leader and I to start an auxiliary HCPT Group so Team Donhead HCPT Group 729 then came into being.

We are all grateful to Donhead for inspiring this new start.

Possibly the photographs  below say more about the nature of this fourth pilgrimage by HCPT Group 729 than many further words would.

The London Beaumont regional Mass at St Josephs and the  main HCPT mass in the underground basilica were as tumultous and  thought provoking as they always are.
Father Francis in the  photographs alongside  (below) in the mountains at blazing hot yet snowy Gavarnie and a couple of days later (above) in the wonderful beach at St Jean de Luz, almost illustrated the words of the song popular with HCPT groups "I the Lord of Sea and Sky"
The five of us  had a very moving group mass at the St Jean de Luz chapel near to parish church on a day away from Lourdes, The chapel was kindly opened up for us by a local  parishioner.
The above is a photo of a side altar at the C13 St Jean Baptiste Church at Gavarnie. Maybe a walk from there to Santiago de Compostela beckons - who knows?

The sadnesses occurring in the Ukraine made the visit to the beautiful yet unusually for Lourdes comparatively new Ukrainian Orthodox church, very thought provoking and  sad though for some reason my  photo to illustrate the beauty of that church seems to have gone astray at this time.

The pilgrimage was of course also great fun as illustrated by the photos below

And the final day sadly arrived all too soon:

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