In September and October, the relics of St. Bernadette visited England, Wales & Scotland. Our diocese welcomed the relics to the Cathedral Church of St. Marie and St. Peter-in-Chains, Doncaster with over 2,500 people participating on 4th/5th October 2022.
On the evening of Tuesday 4th October there were queues to get into the Cathedral, where after a welcome liturgy and Vespers, there was a very moving Water Liturgy led by Fr. Gus O’Reilly and animated by some of the young people who travelled as Hallam Youth on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes in June with Hallam Youth , and Hallam Lourdes Helpers. Pilgrims venerated the relics and made a gesture with Lourdes Water. The evening concluded with a powerful reflection led by Fr. Lee Marshall. St Vincent’s MissionHub music ministry led the music.
On Wednesday 5th October, over 300 pupils visited the Cathedral in the morning to venerate the Relics, experience a short Water Liturgy, and write petitions which were taken back to Lourdes. Bishop Ralph celebrated Mass at 11am in a full Cathedral before following the Relics to St Peter-in-Chains, Doncaster where another 400 pupils visited in school groups in the afternoon, as well as many individual pilgrims. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was available in both venues. The visit ended with Mass with Anointing of the Sick in another full Church, celebrated by Bishop Ralph with 10 priests concelebrating. Fr. Darren Reid a powerful homily. The whole experience was an incredible 24 hours.
Many people said that they found the visit a very special encounter, with a large number of people being able to have an experience of Lourdes, here in the Diocese. The 40th Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place Friday 30th June to Thursday 6th July 2023. For further details visit www.hallam-lourdes.com