It was a very special Easter in Lourdes this year as HCPT marked its Diamond Jubilee. Over 100 children from Merseyside and their helpers joined groups from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales together with groups from elsewhere – including West Indies, United States, Croatia, Italy and Spain – for the traditional celebration of joy and excitement that is the HCPT Easter Pilgrimage.
Youth groups also took part including St Mary's College, Crosby and youngsters from Valencia to offer help and support where needed. Former leaders and helpers were not forgotten either, with Merseyside's 'Toujours Amis' group participating in the pilgrimage. The theme this year was 'Thanks be to God' as the Trust celebrated and gave thanks for 60 years of service and devotion and looked forward to the next 60.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols presided over the Trust mass and led the Blessed Sacrament procession. In his homily he spoke of Jesus being our anchor and, to huge cheers from the Merseyside contingent, recalled his family links to the sea and to Liverpool. Meanwhile, the torchlight procession ended with a spectacular firework display. The children enjoyed themselves in the cafes with friends, as well as spending time in the mountains, the grotto and in prayer.
During this jubilee year, HCPT Masses of thanksgiving are taking place at venues throughout the country. Bishop Tom Williams was the celebrant for the Liverpool Mass on Monday 2 May in the Metropolitan Cathedral.