If day four of our pilgrimage to Lourdes taught us one thing, it is that we in the Church are part of something universal, and the International Mass which we attended was a demonstration that this faith in Jesus coming to us reaches every place.
Cardinal Anders Arborelius, from Sweden, was the main celebrant and the Underground Basilica was awash with nations, all sharing in the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Simultaneously, the Reds' friends and families were also having their Mass in St Joseph’s Chapel; they gathered with Bishop John Wilson for a special Mass, with the liturgy led by the Reds. The Reds are the group within our pilgrimage comprised of young people up to age 16 years who follow a programme of spiritual teaching and assist in the St Frai during their week.
In the afternoon the pilgrims split into different groups; all the young people on our pilgrimage gathered in Le Foret for a picnic and some time together. Most of the young people are here as Redcaps, which means they are helping the disabled pilgrims while also having the opportunity to pray, socialise and come closer to Christ. Without their hard work and cheerful enthusiasm, the pilgrimage would not be possible for many of our less able pilgrims. We salute them for making a difference!
As our week neared its end, the evening of the fourth day saw the pilgrims come together for a Sing-a-Long night and time of socialising with the people we have spent four days supporting and sharing precious moments with.
Photos from our different adventures throughout the day are now online on Flickr.
After Mass in the morning, Cardinal Vincent called on our diocese to pray for France, and the Catholic faith in the country.
The day through the eyes of a seminarian…
Few things have been more striking for me on this pilgrimage than the work I have done as a chaplain to a smll group of young people, thus this afternoon's youth afternoon was very nourishing for me. Aged 23, it is possible that I begin to forget the time I first discovered that God truly loved me. I was 16 when that happened, so seeing some of these young people beginning on the same journey has renewed the joy I found in my heart when I first discovered Christ, a joy that I know will continue to sustain me in following Christ and the vocation he has in mind for me.
Tom Blackburn, Redemptoris Mater House of Formation