Published on September 15th, 2023 | by admin0
A Student’s Experience of The Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Late in the evening of Wednesday 23rd of August, I arrived in Lourdes as part of the youth group on the Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage. I didn’t know what to expect for the week ahead and I was a little bit nervous. To help us settle in to our new surroundings, we walked as a group to the grotto. My first impression was how busy the place seemed to be. The grotto was beautiful, especially at night, in the glow of candle light. We took part in a short prayer service at the statue of our Lady on that first night.
One of our main tasks was to get to know the assisted pilgrims in the hospital and to help them during the week. I really enjoyed this. We helped them to attend Mass and various events and we brought them to and from hospital. In doing this, we got to know some people very well and it gave us the opportunity to chat and connect with older people, some of whom were from my local area of Castlerea. It was inspiring as a young person to be in the company of people who were sick, yet joyful and happy in themselves. Highlights of the pilgrimage included a visit to the baths at Lourdes as well as leading the candlelight procession at night, along with thousands of other pilgrims from all over the world. This is a very special memory for me.
I was so glad to have had the opportunity to be part of this Pilgrimage and I think all young people should experience Lourdes for themselves. It was a special week and I have many memories of my experience there.
Written by: Hannah Kelly 6th Year Student, Castlerea Community School.
Hannah Kelly (2nd from right) with her group leader Patricia Rogers (Centre) and other members of the youth group, on the Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The grotto at night, in the glow of candle light where we took part in a short prayer service at the statue of our Lady.