Letter from the Director of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fr Phillip Hall: Letter to Pilgrims on Lourdes postponement
Next year’s pilgrimage is planned for 2 July 2021 – Fr Phillip will issue more details in due course.
‘I am the Immaculate Conception’
History of the Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The first Leeds Diocesan Pilgrimage started in 1928. Only two diocesan groups predate us, namely Liverpool and Salford.
Our annual Lourdes Pilgrimage provides unique opportunity to gather as a Diocese with the Bishop to pray and journey in faith. It is a time to stand apart from the rigours of life and seek the peace, healing and grace which a pilgrimage experience can afford. Pilgrims come from all parts of the Diocese and beyond. In Lourdes we encounter pilgrims from all parts of the world.
Sick and less able adult pilgrims who require assistance are helped by the 300 or so young pilgrims from diocesan schools and colleges. These young people come as pilgrims too.
The doctors, nurses and carers form a Hospitality Team in order to support the sick and less able. They serve in a spirit inspired by love of God and love of neighbour.
The Pilgrimage accepts all Catholic Safeguarding requirements and fully implements the legislation.
Pilgrimage Leader: Rt Rev Marcus Stock, The Bishop of Leeds
Pilgrimage Director: Rev Fr Phillip Hall
Lourdes Office: St Benedict’s Presbytery, Aberford Road, Garforth LS25 1PX
0113 286 3224
President of Hospitality: Ms Anita Bodurka
Hospitality Administrator: Mrs Kim O’Connor
Director of Liturgies: Rev Fr Sean Crawley
Youth Director: Rev Fr Marc Homsey
Schools Co-ordinator: Ms Jessica Wilkinson
Lead Doctor: TBC
Lead Nurse: Caroline Horner
Banner Co-ordinator: Mr Bob Lavery
Safeguarding Officers: Angela Harvey, Maureen Wilson and Jessica Wilkinson
Enquiries about the Pilgrimage should be addressed to the Director (details above).
The Diocese of Leeds Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund
The Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund supports the running of the Pilgrimage including the hire of equipment and wheelchairs. The Fund sponsors sick and less-able pilgrims unable to meet the full cost of a pilgrimage. Donations are gratefully received. If you would be like to further support the Leeds Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, you may consider altering your Will so that others may benefit from your gift. Please send to:
The Treasurer, The Lourdes Office, St Benedict’s Presbytery, Aberford Road, Garforth LS25 1PX. Tel: as above. Email: as above
Cheques to be made payable to: Diocese of Leeds – Lourdes
Diocese of Leeds Friends of Lourdes – aims:
- Keep Pilgrims in touch with each other through meetings and newsletters
- Care for the sick and less-able
- Assist with the Pilgrimage Organisation
- Pray for Pilgrims
- Foster devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette
New members are very welcome. Belonging to the Friends is a great way to meet socially with Pilgrim Organisers, helpers and other pilgrims. Please consider joining today.
The 2020 pilgrimage is cancelled owing to restrictions during this time of pandemic and will now be ONLINE ONLY on Saturday 26 September 2020. Pilgrims can participate online according to this Timetable of Events, including Mass celebrated by Bishop Marcus, all live-streamed via Walsingham Catholic TV.
In addition on Sunday, 27 September, Bishop Marcus will be the principal celebrant of the midday Mass for another very important virtual pilgrimage to be live-streamed from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham: the 37th Pilgrimage of Reparation and Prayer for the Sanctity of Life. More information is available from the Pro-Life Pilgrimage website.
Walsingham – a brief history
Walsingham, in north Norfolk, has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times, when for most people travel to Rome or Compostella was virtually impossible. The original shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in 1061, was destroyed at the Reformation.
Many barren years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside pilgrim chapel, was restored, and pilgrimage to Walsingham began once more. In 1934, the English bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.
Walsingham – its spirituality
The idea of going on pilgrimage is deeply embedded in the Christian faith, and, earlier still, in the Jewish tradition. Every year Mary and Joseph joined the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, taking Jesus with them. Huge numbers today similarly make a pilgrimage to many Holy Places around the world, hundreds of thousands of them to Walsingham.
Almost everyone speaks of the peace they find in Walsingham, an atmosphere which some detect even on the approaching lanes. There are some who find their way to Walsingham to give thanks for some blessing in their lives. Others come to make a new start or find some way through confusion in their lives. There may be a desire to seek forgiveness in confession and reconciliation, or return to the Church. The sacrament of the sick is frequently received here, and people come to find healing, strength and God’s grace through the prayers of Our Lady.
The spirituality behind everything in Walsingham is to be found in the words of Our Lady when she was asked to become the mother of the Lord. Instead of questioning she simply responded, ‘Let it be done to me according to your word’ (Luke 1: 26). She lovingly sought and chose to do the will of God.
Whatever motivates a person to come to Walsingham, there is awakened in the soul open to God a desire to try and do his will. Discovering the will of God, let alone doing it, is often far from easy. On numerous occasions in the Gospel Mary ‘pondered these things in her heart’. Walsingham is gentle, offering space and time to ponder and pray, and work things out. It was in this spirit that Richeldis responded to the request made of her to build in Walsingham a replica of the home in Nazareth where Mary had made her initial response to God. Walsingham is the home of Mary where, like a mother, she is able to influence, guide, teach and love us if we let her, just as she did her Son. Most importantly, she asks us to say with her and through her, ‘Let it be done to me according to your word’.
Leeds Branch Contacts:
Pilgrimage Director and Chaplain: Rev Fr Benjamin Griffiths, 11 Avondale Court, Shadwell, Leeds LS17 6DT
St Wilfrid’s Way
This year’s pilgrimage went ahead; as a ‘Licenced Organised Outdoor Physical Activity’ and Covid-Risk-Assessed, it was permitted under Government regulations.
Next year’s pilgrimage is planned for Friday 8 & Saturday 9 October 2021.
As a follow-up to his St Patrick’s, Huddersfield to Leeds Cathedral ‘Camino’ instituted in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Stephen Habron, a parishioner at Holy Redeemer Parish, Huddersfield, compiled a booklet on a new ‘Camino’ route: from Leeds Cathedral to Ripon via Knaresborough, Bishop Thornton and Fountains Abbey.
In 2016 this became a new official diocesan pilgrimage, St Wilfrid’s Way, which takes place each October, over two days around the time of St Wilfrid’s Feast Day (12 October). Anyone may walk either all or ANY part of the Camino (staying overnight en route OR going home). All those volunteering to provide hospitality, sustenance or transport for the walkers are pilgrims too –and especially welcome!
The walk is in stages; almost all on tracks and paths, but within a short distance of the A61 and ‘bus and train services. We pass through some of the most historic sacred sites in the Diocese for Mass, the Rosary and other devotions, just a few of which include: the mediaeval wayside shrine of Our Lady of the Crag in Knaresborough; our Parish of St Joseph’s, Bishop Thornton where the upper room of the Presbytery is the oldest Mass House in the Diocese; Markenfield Hall with its Recusant Catholic links; Fountains Abbey and finally Ripon, which was home to the Shrine of St Wilfrid in Ripon Cathedral.
This year’s St Wilfrid’s Way pilgrimage will take place on 9 & 10 October. Copies of the St Wilfrid’s Way route are revised each year and will be FREE to download from our website (hard copies will be available in due course at the back of Leeds Cathedral and in all churches in Holy Redeemer Parish, Huddersfield).
If you are interested in walking St Wilfrid’s Way in 2020, contact Rowan Morton-Gledhill via firstname.lastname@example.org
The entire route as walked in October 2018 is on WikiLoc: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/st-wilfrids-way-2018-29700706