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St Johns Parish Waterford - Waterford & Lismore Pilgrimage to Lourdes

 Pilgrimage 2012

 A brief account of my week in Lourdes - by Yvette Purdue (Eucharistic Minister, St. John's Church)

Our Journey to Lourdes began on the 2nd of June at the Cathedral in Barronstrand Street, Waterford with a Mass and blessing of the Waterford Banner which was carried throughout the pilgrimage.

We boarded our coaches at the Sacred Heart Church the Folly shortly after 7.00am on the 6th of June for our departure from Cork Airport. The journey down to Cork was lovely because it gave people a chance to meet and greet each other. After a pleasant flight we arrived at our destination at 15.30 hours as we were now an hour ahead of Ireland. We checked into our hotel The Agena and began my duties straight away. 

The days were split shifts starting at 6.00am to 1.00pm and 8.00pm to 10.00pm 

The breakfast for the sick patients in the Accueil (hospital) began at 6.30am each morning. The handmaids were split into two groups. 'A' group and 'B' group, which I was part of. While breakfast was being served the patients rooms were cleaned by us every day which was part of our duties. 

Thursday morning began with the opening Mass at St. Bernadette's Altar, where we all assembled after which our group photograph was taken, as seen below.  Afternoon we headed to the Accrueil for duties while the sick pilgrims were at the various ceremonies. We were busy in the kitchen getting ready for teas in the afternoon. It was custom and practice to do this after each ceremony before dinner was served at 6.00pm. The working days were long and a total committment. 

During my interludes from work I attended as many ceremonies as was possible for me to do. The highest of my week was being requested to assist in the anointing of the sick with the Holy Oils with Bishop Lee and to administer the Eucharist to the congregation at St. Bernadette's Basilica - Carmel Side. 

While the working days were long it was a privilege to be part of Pilgrimage 2012.

I have included some of the many photographs taken, for your interest.                                          

 Yvette

Pilgrimage 2012