The eightieth annual Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, begins today, Friday 23 July 2010. The Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, will be leading the pilgrimage travelling with over 1,300 pilgrims.
334 of the pilgrims are travelling by air on two special flights from Liverpool John Lennon Airport while a further 400 pilgrims have other flights or overland coaches, 130 will travel as sick pilgrims of which 100 will be in the special accommodation of the Accueil St Frai. A further 22 pilgrims who are unable to fly left Liverpool this morning, Thursday 22 July, aboard the special Jumbulance. 500 young people will be taking part in the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage travelling by coach from Chorley, Knowsley, the Isle of Man, Leyland, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan to join them.
After travelling from Liverpool the pilgrimage will begin with Mass on Friday evening, which will be celebrated in the Chapel of Notre Dame de Doulours. The theme of this year’s pilgrimage is ‘The sign of the Cross with Bernadette’. On the morning of Saturday 24 July there will be a Mass of Welcome in St Bernadette’s Church attended by all the sick and helpers. On Sunday morning, 25 July, Mass will be celebrated in the Grotto, the holiest place in Lourdes, where it is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to St Bernadette on eighteen occasions 152 years ago in 1858. On this occasion Liverpool pilgrims will be joined by others from the Scottish Dioceses of Dunkeld and Motherwell. Sunday afternoon and evening will see a Eucharistic procession and a Service of Reconciliation.
On Monday 26 July Mass will be celebrated in the Rosary Basilica and pilgrims will join in the traditional Marian Torchlight Procession at 9.00 pm. On Tuesday 27 July after morning Mass in the Grotto the pilgrims will take part in the Stations of the Cross during the afternoon. On Wednesday 28 July the pilgrims will join the International Celebration of Mass in the St Pius X Basilica with others from throughout the world taking part.
As well as attending the formal services listed on the timetable there will be opportunities for the pilgrims to visit the Grotto for private prayer and for the sick pilgrims to bathe in the baths at the shrine. In the early evenings pilgrims will be able to take part in the Eucharistic Procession at 5.00 pm and later at 9.00 pm in the Marian Torchlight Procession.
The pilgrims return to Liverpool on Friday 30 July.
The full timetable is:
ARCHDIOCESE OF LIVERPOOL LOURDES PILGRIMAGE 2010
(Times given are Central European Summer Time: CEST)
FRIDAY 23 JULY
Pilgrims depart from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
8.30 pm MASS will be celebrated in the Chapel at Notre Dame de Doulours
SATURDAY 24 JULY
10.30 am MASS OF WELCOME will be celebrated in St Bernadette’s church
SUNDAY 25 JULY
8.30 am MASS will be celebrated in the Grotto with the Dioceses of Dunkeld and
5.00 pm EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION and ADORATION for Liverpool pilgrims.
9.00 pm A SERVICE OF RECONCILIATION will be celebrated in St Bernadette’s church
MONDAY 26 JULY
2.30 pm MASS will be celebrated in the Rosary Basilica
9.00 pm TORCHLIGHT MARIAN PROCESSION for Liverpool pilgrims
TUESDAY 27 JULY
10.30 am MASS will be celebrated in the Grotto
2.30 pm STATIONS OF THE CROSS
WEDNESDAY 28 JULY
9.30 am The INTERNATIONAL MASS will be celebrated in the Basilica of St Pius X
3.00 pm MASS will be celebrated at Bartres for Liverpool pilgrims
9.00 pm HOLY HOUR in the Basilica of St Pius X
THURSDAY 29 JULY
10.00 am MASS OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK will be celebrated in the Basilica of
St Pius X
3.00 pm A THANKSGIVING SERVICE will be celebrated at the Esplanade Altar
FRIDAY 30 JULY
9.30 am MASS will be celebrated in St Joseph’s Chapel
Pilgrims return to Liverpool