Thursday morning - Low and High Stations

This morning pilgrims had the opportunity to participate in Low or High Stations of the Cross, walking the Way of the Cross.

Despite the heavy rain a good number of pilgrims took part in the High Stations.

At each Station we paused for a reading and reflection.

Today's High Stations were led by members of the Kenelm Youth Trust (KYT) and other pilgrims.

Photos can be found on our Facepook page

Thursday afternoon – Closing Mass

Already, we have reached the conclusion of our pilgrimage and we reflect on all that we have experienced through the grace of God and with our fellow pilgrims this week.

This Mass is a Votive Mass of Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), the Italian Passionist Priest who received John Henry Newman into Full Communion with the Catholic Church and heard his first confession as a Catholic. This year marks the 60th anniversary of his Beatification by Pope St Paul VI.

Following the Canonisation of St John Henry Newman, there is now a focus in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on praying for the Canonisation of the priest who received Newman into the Church.

We began our pilgrimage on the Solemnity of Pentecost and, as we prepare to return home, we look forward to the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, this weekend.

As with any experience of ‘going away’ on pilgrimage or retreat, the returning home is as important: taking back to the ordinary routines of our life all that we have known here and transforming some of the situations that we might find challenging.

It is quite normal that something of ourselves will remain here in Lourdes and something of Lourdes will return home with us.

Thank God for his many blessings and for all that you have received on this pilgrimage.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!

Today's Closing Mass was celebrated by Bishop David Evans. The Homily was given by Archbishop Bernard Longley.

After Mass the Diocesan Candle, which was blessed earlier in the week, was placed with all other candles in a dedicated area of the Sanctuary.

Pupils from St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy were involved in the small ceremony. A candle from Cardinal Newman Catholic School was also lit.


Archbishop Bernard gave the homily:

"It’s our last full day together in Lourdes - and although a part of us is looking forward to seeing our homes again, yet we also feel some sadness at the thought of leaving Lourdes and saying goodbye to one another for the time being.  It has been a wonderful pilgrimage and as we take our leave of Lourdes we want to thank our Lady for the welcome we have received here and for all the friends, new and old, who have shared these precious days with us.

"We have shared so many experiences during the last five days, storing up many memories - the things we will be able to recall over the coming years - just like the stories we have been telling each other since last Saturday, at mealtimes or over a coffee or as we have walked together to the sanctuary or back to our hotels."

Read full homily

Photo Gallery

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2023, Closing Mass and Placing of Diocesan Candle

Thursday night - Marian Torchlight Procession

Tonight the Archdiocese of Birmingham had the honour of jointly leading the Torchlight Procession with another diocese.

Thousands of people from across the world had gathered at the Sanctuary to witness this very special event.

A large number of pupils from across our schools were heavily involved - as flag bearers, as torchlight holders and carrying Mary on the procession.

What a wonderful spiritual encounter for all as the pilgrimage draws to a close.

Photo Gallery

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2023, final night Torchlight Procession