Changes to the co-ordination team

An update from pilgrimage director Fr. Michael Jones regarding changes to the pilgrimage co-ordination team for the coming year:

Dear pilgrim,

The 2017 diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes was a great success.  Pilgrims, young and old, sick and able travelling from all parts of the diocese were together as a family of faith in Lourdes.  In that place where Our Lady appeared to the young Bernadette Soubirous they experienced the prayerfulness of the Grotto and joy of recalling the words of Our Lady in the Magnificat ‘the Almighty has done great things for me.’

Each year when we return from we reflect on how we can continue to build on our experiences further strengthening our pilgrimage in response to the call of Our Lady of Lourdes.  

I am supported each year in my responsibilities as Director of the Pilgrimage by a group of volunteers who offer their support to the planning and organising this experience on behalf of the diocesan family all year round.  Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the following people have agreed to take on new responsibilities as part of the Pilgrimage Co-ordinating Team for 2018:

Nicola Holmes has been appointed as Co-ordinator for Volunteers, this after Philip Callaghan begins his formation for priesthood in seminary.  Nicola will support the recruitment, training and management of lay volunteers in the pilgrimage.  These volunteers offer their time and skill to support sick and disabled pilgrims, in close collaboration with our medical and nursing team.

Anna Beisty and Caroline Harrington-Milne have been appointed to offer new provision for families with children who wish to accompany and participate in the pilgrimage.  They take on this new role after several years supporting youth group leaders and young people to take part fully in the pilgrimage. 

Kevin McMahon has been appointed as Co-ordinator for Young People which includes particular responsibility for supporting youth group leaders, encouraging and supporting new and existing youth groups also facilitating the practical and pastoral care of young pilgrims.  

Together with the other members of the Pilgrimage Co-ordination Team, and indeed all those who accompany the pilgrimage, these new Co-ordinators will help to promote and encourage the faithful from the Salford Diocesan family to visit the Shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes to deepen our relationship with Christ, her Son.  

In 2018 the Sanctuary celebrates the 160th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette.  I invite everyone from the diocese to consider travelling with us on pilgrimage, especially in this anniversary year.  Finally, I ask for your continued prayers for these new Co-ordinators and for all those who commit their time, energy, experience and skill to the work of planning and organising the pilgrimage.  

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

St Bernadette, pray for us.