On this 7th Sunday of the Easter Season, we have celebrated the Ascension of the Lord and now we await the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Today, the Birmingham Diocesan Family would have begun its annual pilgrimage: tired from the journey but excited to be in Lourdes, a special and holy place.

The gathering that we shall celebrate in the coming days will acknowledge all those who would have been in Lourdes: pilgrims with sickness or disability of any kind – the most important pilgrims; young people from schools and parishes of the Archdiocese; medical staff, nurses and many, many volunteers who work especially for the benefit of our sick pilgrims; and a pilgrimage made up of those who have been to Lourdes many times, and those who were to have made their first visit.

On this, the Lord’s Day, we join with the Church throughout the world in singing the praises of God and seeking his blessing on our lives.

We unite ourselves with all those who wish to enter into the spirit of the Lourdes Pilgrimage this year, with the theme of Mary: the Immaculate Conception. May we experience something of the prayer that adorns the interior of the Rosary Basilica: Through Mary to Jesus.

2pm: A greeting from Lisa Dodd, Tangney Tours

The video will launch at 2pm

3pm: Opening Mass

Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrates the Opening Mass at 3pm, with Jo Boyce from CJM Music.

6pm: A greeting from Bishop David McGough

The video will launch at 6pm

8pm: Virtual Marian Procession (Glorious mysteries)

The video will launch at 8pm