Lourdes pilgrimage a special time – Bishop Brendan Leahy

28 Jun 2017

Youth of Limerick shine on diocesan pilgrimage

Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that the presence and commitment of young people on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes has given great hope at a time of great challenge.

Speaking following the closing ceremony of the five day pilgrimage, Bishop Leahy said that the 100 young people on the young people’s programme and other volunteers had brought great joy to the wider group, not least 70 assisted pilgrims.

“It’s been an amazing few days, one which in which you get a great sense of renewal in what you see happening around you, particularly the spirit of volunteerism.  I was particularly struck by young people on the pilgrimage. Year on year they come here and lift all of us with their sense of enthusiasm, fun and their commitment.

“They are a great beacon of hope.  At our closing ceremony, prepared by the young people themselves, they spoke of the message of hope and joy that Lourdes brings. That’s so important. As they reminded us, we need to have joy in the moment and not be waiting to get a course at college, a particular job, have a family or successful career.

“Yes, it’s important to plan for the future but the young people on our pilgrimage have shown that they live in the moment too. That’s essential as you have to seize what’s in front of you and make the best of it.

“But it wasn’t just the youth. Young and old, there was a great sense of camaraderie and renewal, amongst pilgrims and volunteers. It was a special time. Great credit goes to Canon Donal McNamara, Director of the Pilgrimage and the many who throughout the year generously help in preparing and fund-raising for the pilgrimage.”

Bishop Leahy said that generally there was a wonderful sense of peace on the pilgrimage.  “One woman commented to me that she feels the peace at home when she returns from Lourdes and that’s essentially what Lourdes does – brings peace.  And that’s what we need as the world in many respects is a broken place.”