Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2009
On the 18th of August a bus left Baltinglass for Dublin Airport on the first part of their trip to Lourdes. The bus was full of people of all ages, each one with a common purpose, all on the same pilgrim journey led by Fr. Tommy Dillon.
We arrived at Lourdes Airport a bit later than planned due to a delay in Dublin. A bus took us to the Hotel Agena, about 20 minutes from the airport. Once everyone was allocated their rooms, and deposited their bags we all headed across to a nearby church for Mass to mark the start of our Pilgrimage. Fr Tommy celebrated the Mass. After our evening meal in the Hotel, everyone made their way to the Grotto, this special place of prayer. It’s like a magnet, no matter how tired or leg weary you may be you are drawn to this place to stay a while in silent prayer.
Each morning we were up bright and early to partake in all the activities for the day. Fr. Tommy celebrated Mass somewhere different each day. One day we had Mass in a very old Church out in Bartres where St. Bernadette spent time as a young girl helping a family on their farm. Another day we went to the city of the Poor where Fr. Tommy celebrated Mass in a little Church called the Sheep Fold. It’s at this Mass that we were all blessed with the Holy Oils. Everyone agrees that there is something special about that little Church. At each Mass Sr. Brigid and some people from the Baltinglass choir sang ,which added greatly to each ceremony and was very much appreciated.
Back at the Grotto the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament was a very memorable occasion. There were people from all over the world carrying flags and banners. The Blessed Sacrament was carried into the underground Basilica which holds thousands of people. There is so much to see and do in Lourdes that everyone makes the most of their time during their stay. We all agree that it was a very successful and enjoyable pilgrimage, mainly due to the very good and dedicated leadership of Fr. Tommy Dillon. We thank him most sincerely. Our thanks to Sr. Brigid and the members of her choir. We also wish to thank the very good tour guide, Bernie from Joe Walsh Tours and our thanks to Ger and Josie Duffy for the transport to and from the Airport.