The pilgrimage during Easter Week 2016 was no exception. Interesting too that after years of travelling to Lourdes as a children's group, the decision, largely based on the ages of the majority of our former children's group (most of whom had been travelling for 30 years or more) to form an auxiliary group to assist children's groups rather than continue to take disabled children in our own group, is proving a great success.
HCPT Group 729 was fortunate enough for our 2016 pilgrimage to have as a new helper, a 27 year old lay chaplain of an inner London School. The new helper James, signified that not only will he travel again with Group 729 but also that he may bring some VIth formers from his school to travel with us in 2017.
If so then in subsequent years HCPT Group 729 could have a new younger leader, more new younger helpers and even begin inviting disabled children to join us.
As for the latest pilgrimage perhaps the pictures below best illustrate a little of the 2016 pilgrimage:
Left of course are a few
pilgrims at the grotto of Lourdes - very much more quiet this year in late March before the Easter holidays in continental schools have commenced
Below right is a photo taken during the Trust Mass on Thursday which is the only occasion when nearly all HCPT pilgrims are together during the Easter Week pilgrimage. The group immediately in front of us were from Krakow Poland - and their red shirts signify the
The photographs and details of the miraculous cures depicted there are remarkable. However details of one of the most interesting cures, at least to British pilgrims, does not seem to have survived the museum's change of location. That one showed a British WWI veteran who had survived a shot in the head in the trenches. He received a War Ministry pension. However he was certified after due medical diligence of being cured of his wounds following his pilgrimage to Lourdes and wrote to the War Ministry accordingly. The War Office response to him which the French used to publish in the museum, was to the effect that the British Government does not believe in miracles so insisted that his pension should continue.
The beautiful small Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lourdes is depicted below on the left while the fireworks on the right were set off after the end of the Torchlight procession on Easter Tuesday night to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of HCPT
|The Crown Virgin at Night|
The HCPT London Beaumont region celebrated mass together earlier on Tuesday though the chapel found for us at the eleventh hour by pilgrimage HQ was almost over crowded
|HCPT London Beaumont Mass|
|HCPT Group 729 Hard at work at St Jean de Luz|
The bus journey back from St Jean de Lourdes was at a stand still on the Auto route for two hours following a huge fire in a nearby lorry which was tackled by many fire crews police and ambulances. Despite the long delay there were no cries or moans from any of the small children travelling with us at the time on the bus.
|A rather strange 'statue' within the lovely old church at St Jean de Luz|
|Bernie organising some refreshments for the Group|
|Start of the long journey back to Wimbledon|
The above pictures and comments cannot do the atmosphere and friendship engendered by the pilgrimage any justice but perhaps provide a little of the flavour.