On 4 September, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin lead, for the 16th time, the Dublin diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.
A 99-year-old former school principal, Nora Hawkes, joined the 2,000 strong group, the largest of its kind in Ireland. This year 130 students also travelled to Lourdes from 23 secondary schools around the Diocese of Dublin.
Thanking those who made the pilgrimage possible, Archbishop Martin said, “I thank those who come back year after year to support the sick and will be the first to remind us that they return home having gained more than they give. I thank the young people, especially those who are here for the first time. Learn how to place the tenderness that is in your hearts at the service of the sick and bring that experience with you as you prepare for your life and work. I thank the doctors and nurses and all those who attend the sick. I thank those who guarantee the smooth running of our pilgrimage and our accommodation.”
10 doctors and 46 nurses volunteered to help along with 300 young adults between the ages of 19-23 and 35 priests and religious lead 16 parish groups.
172 sick pilgrims made the journey staying in medically supported accommodation with the support of medical staff and volunteers. Addressing these sick pilgrims, Archbishop Martin said, “You inspire us with your faith. Our prayer is that in this holy place you will experience something of that spirit of the Beatitudes and realise how you have a special place in the heart of Jesus.”