Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Our Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from Sunday, 7th September – Friday, 12th September 2015. We will travel alongside Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage again this year. Our Spiritual Leader will be Fr. Tom Kearney and Fr. Damian McNeice will be present in his role as Master of Ceremonies to the Archbishop.
This Parish started organising Pilgrimages to Lourdes in the early seventies and have continued very successfully the lovely tradition of an annual Pilgrimage there.
In recent years we have travelled alongside the Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage which gives us the opportunity to join with other pilgrims from Dublin in the different ceremonies. The Mass of Welcome on the first evening is celebrated in St. Bernadette’s Church which is situated on the opposite side of the River Gave, facing the Grotto. On Our Lady’s Birthday, 8th September we are very privileged to celebrate Mass in the Grotto itself. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is the principal celebrant at this Mass which is concelebrated by the all the Dublin priests. There is also the Penitential Service, the Blessed Sacrament Procession, Mass with anointing of the Sick and the Holy Hour and not forgetting the Torchlight Procession which is an unforgettable sight and which no words can adequately describe.
We also make time for our own more intimate ceremonies. Every year we travel to Bartres where we celebrate Mass in the Parish Church of John the Baptist where Bernadette herself prayed when she lived in the village.
Lourdes is a very special place. There are three Churches rising from the square, the Crypt, which was the first Church built in answer to Our Lady’s request to build a Chapel. It was consecrated in 1866 and Bernadette was present at its consecration. The Immaculate Conception Basilica was the second Church; it is directly over the Crypt. The Rosary Basilica was the third Church built; it is Byzantine in design with a central dome. On this dome is the beautiful Irish Cross erected by the National Pilgrimage in 1924.
The Grotto where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette is the centre of Lourdes. The entrance to the Grotto is at the end of Rosary Square, this also leads to the taps for the Lourdes water and to the baths. Very little has changed in the Grotto since
Our Lady appeared to Bernadette. At the front edge of the Grotto under the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes is the massive candelabrum. Here the candles burn continuously day and night throughout the year. It is here that we remember our own Parish in our prayers.
A mosaic plaque marks the spot where on 11th February 1858 Bernadette, knelt during the first apparition. At the time of Bernadette, the Grotto was a dirty, hidden, damp and cold place. The Grotto was called the "pigs' shelter" because that was where the pigs feeding in the area usually took shelter. It was there that the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, a sign of total purity, the sign of the Love of God, in other words, the sign of what God wishes to accomplish in each of us, deigned to appear. There is a contrast between this damp and obscure Grotto and the presence of the Virgin Mary, "the Immaculate Conception". It reminds us of the Gospel: the meeting of the wealth of the goodness of God and the poverty of the human person. At Lourdes, the fact that Mary had appeared in a dirty and obscure Grotto, in the place called Massabielle, the Old Rock, tells us that God comes to join us where we are, in the midst of our poverty and failures.
The Grotto is not only a place where something happened - a geographical place - it is also a place where God gives us a sign by revealing his heart and our heart. It is a place where God leaves us a message, a message that is nothing other than that of the Gospel. God comes to tell us that he loves us, - this is the heart of the Message of Lourdes, and he loves us as we are with all our successes but also with all our wounds, our weaknesses and our limitations.
Our Pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Tom Kearney & Marie McAllister
Price: €675.00 per person sharing
Price includes: Return flights Dublin Lourdes
Return airport transfers to Lourdes
5 nights accommodation at Hotel Roissy (3*) Full board basis
Services of a Travel representative in Lourdes
Single room supplement €195.00 for duration of stay
Airport taxes: €75.00
Bookings: Contact Anne Flanagan Tel: (01) 8375274
Parish Office, Holy Child Church.