First full day in Lourdes!
We arose from our slumber at 5.45am full of enthusiasm and eager to begin our duties.
There are six in our group, led by our Chaplain Niamh Donohue. Three of us are on flag duty and ward support whilst the other three have been assigned stewarding and function control. On arrival to the Accueil it was daunting as we weren’t sure what the day had in store. We soon met our contact people and they put us at ease. We soon got to grips with voiture, chaise, flags and began as our confidence grew steadily. But we were only following in the proud tradition and footsteps of our past pupils who are still returning annually to this wonderful Pilgrimage.
We processed with our “VIP” pilgrims – stewarding them and helping them in anyway we could. As we stood in the Grotto at the opening mass we were moved by the Archbishops sermon – his vision of a world devoid of materialism. This message inspires us as we continue our pilgrim Journey.
Safely back in the Accueil, the school groups gathered for the first Prairie, we reflected on the theme of hope and expectations through song, prayer and drama.
After our refreshing lunch and some afternoon shopping with our Pilgrims preparations began for the Eucharistic procession. Upon entering the underground Basillica a surreal moment over came us all. After a multi lingual Eucharistic liturgy ably led by our flag holders we escorted our VIPS back to the Accueil.
After dinner the Pilgrims began to arrive at St. Bernadettes Church for Holy Hour, we were very impressed by the singing and music of the Dublin Lourdes choir.
With duties completed for the day we gathered in the Acccueil for a Reconciliation service, in keeping with this them we all received the sacrament of Reconciliation- which we felt was a great way to end our first day in Lourdes.
To end our working day we had some fun in the Solitude hotel with the other school groups at the quiz.
Our first day in Lourdes was above and beyond all preconceived expectations and all we can do is eagerly await the next three days and finding out what the Lourdes experience has to offer.
Lourdes Team 2013
( Loreto High School Beaufort)