2,000 pilgrims join Archdiocese of Dublin for pilgrimage to Lourdes

07 Sep 2011


7 September 2011

2, 000 pilgrims join Archdiocese of Dublin for pilgrimage to Lourdes

The Eucharistic Congress Bell left for Lourdes this morning (Wednesday) accompanying 2,000 pilgrims and sick from the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The pilgrimage to Lourdes is one of the biggest events in the Dublin Diocesan calendar. This year 640 volunteers, 55 nurses, 9 doctors and 180 sick people are on their way to Lourdes, with 145 young people from 22 schools across the Diocese, who are travelling as helpers to assist in the care of the sick pilgrims. The group left Dublin airport in specially chartered flights this morning. The pilgrimage is led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and priests of the Diocese with representatives from Crosscare and the Eucharist Congress also travelling.

Before leaving for the world famous Marian Shrine, Pilgrimage director Fr. John Gilligan paid tribute to the hundreds of people who spent the past 12 months planning and preparing for the pilgrimage particularly those who journey and help with large numbers of sick people, many in wheelchairs. Fr. Gilligan said that the constant commitment to the pilgrimage by so many in the Diocese was deeply enriching for all involved in this spiritual journey.  The theme of this year’s pilgrimage is “With Bernadette we pray the Our Father”.

This year, the Lourdes pilgrimage will include focus on the preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress. This will be the first time that the Eucharistic Congress Bell has left Ireland since the bell pilgrimage began in St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on St Patrick’s Day. The Eucharistic Congress Bell pilgrimage is an invitation to faith, prayer, to reconciliation and to preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which will take place in Dublin from 10-17 June 2012.

To date the Congress Bell has visited 15 dioceses and hundreds of parishes around the country. It was taken to the summit of Croagh Patrick and to the Aran Islands during the summer and it was a feature at the Annual Horse Show in the RDS in August. Later this month the bell will be at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare. ENDS

Note to Editors

  • Updates and homilies from the pilgrimage will be available on www.dublindiocese.ie. And www.lourdes.dublindiocese.ie
  • •    Photographs of the departure of pilgrims from Dublin airport are available from John Mc Elroy Photos at 087 2416985.

Further information on the Eucharistic Congress is available at www.iec2012.ie