The 88th Annual Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes begins this Friday, 20 July. The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool, will be leading the pilgrimage travelling with over 1,200 pilgrims, who will also be accompanied by Bishop Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.
The theme of this year’s pilgrimage is ‘Lourdes, do whatever he tells you’. Some 400 of the pilgrims will travel by air on three special flights from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, with 100 travelling as assisted pilgrims of whom 40 will be in the special accommodation of the Accueil St Frai and 12 in the Hotel Solitude.
A total of 400 young people will be taking part in the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes travelling by coach from Chorley, Knowsley, Leyland, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, Warrington, Widnes and Wigan. Nine coaches will be leaving from points across the Archdiocese at approximately 7.30am on Thursday, 19 July, to start the 26-hour journey. While in Lourdes and immediately following this arduous journey, the young pilgrims will get up as early as 4.30am to work in the hospital, while others follow them down in order to assist the pilgrims to the different places of devotion and to Mass.
On arrival in Lourdes on Friday 20 July, Mass will be celebrated at 8.30pm in the Chapel Sacré Coeur and again in St Bernadette’s church at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, 21 July. On Sunday 22 July, there will be a full Mass of Welcome at 10am in St Bernadette’s church. Sunday afternoon and evening will see a Eucharistic procession and a Service of Reconciliation.
On Monday 23 July, Mass will be celebrated in the Rosary Basilica and pilgrims will join in the traditional Marian Torchlight Procession at 9pm. On Tuesday 24 July, pilgrims will take part in the Stations of the Cross during the morning before Mass in the Basilica of St Pius X in the afternoon.
A highlight of the pilgrimage will be at 8.30am on Wednesday morning, 25 July, when Mass will be celebrated in the Grotto where it is believed the Virgin Mary appeared to St Bernadette on 18 occasions in 1858. In the afternoon Mass will be celebrated at Bartres and in the evening there will be a Holy Hour in St Bernadette’s church.
On Thursday 26 July the pilgrims return to the Basilica of St Pius X for the Mass of Anointing of the Sick and in the afternoon the Esplandade Altar will be the setting for a Farewell Service.
The pilgrims return to Liverpool on Friday 27 July.
A copy of the full timetable is given below.
ARCHDIOCESE OF LIVERPOOL LOURDES PILGRIMAGE 2018
(Times given are Central European Summer Time: CEST)
FRIDAY 20 JULY
Pilgrims depart from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
8.30pm MASS will be celebrated in the Chapel Sacré Coeur
SATURDAY 21 JULY
4pm MASS will be celebrated in St Bernadette’s church
SUNDAY 22 JULY
10am SUNDAY MASS of Welcome will be celebrated in St Bernadette’s church
5pm EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION and ADORATION for Liverpool pilgrims
9pm SERVICE OF RECONCILIATION will be held in St Bernadette’s church
MONDAY 23 JULY
2pm MASS will be celebrated in the Rosary Basilica
9pm TORCHLIGHT MARIAN PROCESSION for Liverpool pilgrims
TUESDAY 24 JULY
10am STATIONS OF THE CROSS
2.30pm MASS will be celebrated in the Basilica of St Pius X
WEDNESDAY 25 JULY
8.30am MASS will be celebrated in the Grotto
3pm MASS will be celebrated at Bartres for Liverpool pilgrims
9pm HOLY HOUR will be held in St Bernadette’s church
THURSDAY 26 JULY
10am MASS OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK will be celebrated in the Basilica of St Pius X
2pm FAREWELL SERVICE will be celebrated at the Esplandade Altar
FRIDAY 27 JULY
9.30am MASS will be celebrated in the Chapel Mater Dolorosa
Pilgrims return to Liverpool
As well as attending the formal services there will be opportunities for the pilgrims to visit the Grotto for private prayer, to bathe in the baths at the shrine and to take part in the Eucharistic Procession at 5pm and later at 9pm in the Marian Torchlight Procession.