By Dan Walsh
The 52nd Ferns Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes is taking place this year after a two-year gap due to the Covid pandemic and was launched via a Pastoral Letter from Bishop Ger Nash read at all Masses across the Diocese of Ferns.
However, the Diocesan with responsibility for the pilgrimage are being extra cautious and a number of changes should be noted!
The pilgrimage will be over four nights, instead of the usual five, departing on June 20th and returning on June 24th. There will be no invalid section as it would not be possible to guarantee a safe and happy experience for them. Likewise, there will be no Youth Section as their role is helping with the invalids.
Bishop Nash said; “For many people, the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes was an eagerly awaited event each year. The Lourdes Pilgrimage gathers people across the Diocese (of Ferns) and makes them friends as they travel together. This travelling together has been one of the marks of pilgrimage all down the centuries of Christianity and is even more relevant this year.”
In his Pastoral Letter Bishop Nash added; “As we take our first tentative steps to normality, it is good for us to remember that we have lost people over the past two years who were familiar faces who were familiar faces on the Diocesan Pilgrimage. Some of them travelled regularly as pilgrims and some were former volunteers and helpers. They have completed their earthly pilgrimage and we pray they are enjoying the happiness of eternal life.”