Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nous retournons!!!!!

What a wonderful 4 days in Lourdes with the LMS Pilgrimage!

We (Theresa, Fr Michael Brown & myself) left Newcastle at 4.10am on Monday 17th September for the long drive to Stansted Airport where we joined the other 20 pilgrims.  Our flight was by Ryanair which meant an absolute minimum of baggage but, thanks to reversible vestments, we managed.  Our outward flight was to Biarritz then on to Lourdes by coach.

The weather was scorching when we arrived and it was a mad scatter to book into our hotel then immediately to leave for St Gabriel's Chapel for our first Mass.  The chapel was tiny and when Fr Brown leaned on the altar for the consecration it threatened to topple.  No regimentation so back to Hotel Beau Site for dinner then, if one wished down to the Domain for the procession.

Tuesday began in the rain with Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel (much bigger) of the St Frei Centre.  Free time before lunch then Blessed Sacrament procession indoors.

Wednesday we had a visit to Bartres with Mass in the parish church followed by a picnic lunch at Lac du Lourdes. We had Missa Cantata here.

Thursday's Mass was also a Missa Cantata celebrated in the beautiful Ukranian Catholic Chapel with the most unusual thurible with bells on!!

Friday was our last day and again we celebrated Missa Cantata in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St Frei - no thurible.  After an early lunch we boarded a coach for the short trip to Tarbes Airport for the journey home with Titan Airways (little baggage restriction).  We 3 left Stansted just after 4pm & arrived back on 'Canny Tyneside' just before 11pm.

Thanks must go to Tangney Tours for the arrangements, to Paul Waddington for the English organisation but mostly to Fr Brown for his tireless efforts to keep us spiritually aware at all times.  Paul Waddington, Alan Frost & I served all Masses but the publishers of Fortescue need to update their servers instructions as I discovered a new role, that of MC/Cantor.  No extra pay of course.

The LMS must provide a banner which can be taken on such pilgrimages rather than be retained solely for English events, our name must be better known.


  1. Work has started on the banner. I think you will be impressed.

  2. Well done! Next time you should definitely have the banner we used for the Walsingham Pilgrimage - there's no rule it can't leave our hallowed shores, as long as you promise to bring it back again!