Our Lady Queen of Peace

Tuesday – Opening Mass

Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

We have arrived in Lourdes and our Pilgrimage begins.

Take an opportunity to see how many people are here with us: all ages and backgrounds, those who carry many burdens (which might not be obvious to us) and those who are simply joyful to be here and to be thankful.

We gather as the People of God from the Archdiocese of Birmingham and beyond.

We come with many intentions – both our own and those who have asked us to pray for them during these days.

Our week together will go quickly, so let’s make the most of it and all of the 
opportunities it will bring us.

The musical prelude for our week is ‘Out of Darkness, God has called us, claimed by Christ as God’s own people; Holy Nation, Royal Priesthood, walking in God’s marvellous light.’ You might recognise these words from the New Testament: the First Letter of St Peter, Chapter 2, verse 9.

It speaks to us of what it is to belong to the Church. The image associated with the Synodal Pathway led by the Holy Spirit and encouraged by Pope Francis is of the People of God on a journey.

As we sing ‘Out of Darkness’ each time this week, let us be aware that we belong to the Church because we are the Church.

In this Opening Mass of our Pilgrimage, we honour Our Lady, Queen of Peace. We pray for peace in the world, peace in our homes and families, peace in our hearts.

Out of Darkness
Out of darkness god has called us,
Claimed as Christ as God’s own people.
Holy nation, royal priesthood,
Walking in god’s marv’lous light.

1. Let us take the words you give, 
Strong and faithful words to live.
Words that in our hearts are sown; 
Words that bind us as your own

Opening Mass: Homily

Bishop David Evans gave the homily:

"The ways of God are mysterious but the mystery may not always be apparent till later, or until one event is connected to another. Today’s first reading bears that out when we consider Aaron; for why would God trust with that stupendous blessing the one who was responsible for making the golden calf and encouraging God’s people to worship it?

"That event is also more complex than might at first appear."

Read full homily

Photo Gallery: Opening Mass

Tuesday – Reconciliation

This year, our Penitential Service takes place near to the beginning of our Pilgrimage Week. It is not easy for anybody to go to Confession, but in this act of God’s mercy, we know that we are not alone.

The priests and bishops who are with us on pilgrimage (who also know what it is to go to Confession) are instruments of God’s mercy and wish to support you in coming before the Lord and leaving our burdens with the Lord, hearing the words ‘Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins…’ 

If you can trust in God’s goodness and want to get the most out of what this pilgrimage week offers, be confident and be encouraged to come to Confession and celebrate the mercy of God as it is offered to you. 

Do not be afraid…. familiar words from the Bible. In this context, do not be afraid if it has been a long time since you last celebrated this Sacrament, last went to Confession. If that is the case, or if you don’t know where to start, please take the opportunity that is offered you this week, to come to Confession, and just be honest and say: It’s been a long time and I don’t know where to start… and the priest will guide you gently through the Sacrament, leading to forgiveness of your sins. 


Fr Andrew Franklin gave the homily

Read full homily

Lord God, 
We come before you as your children, 
confident to call you Father, mindful of our sins, 
but filled with hope in your merciful love. 
Through the power of Spirit, you give the sacraments to your Church as a sign 
of your abiding presence. 
Prepare us for the encounter to which you call us today. 
Grant us the grace to respond without hesitation 
to Our Lady’s invitation to draw close to her Son, Jesus 
with repentant and contrite hearts.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Photo Gallery: Reconciliation

Tuesday night - Marian Torchlight Procession

Tonight the Archdiocese of Birmingham had the honour of leading the Torchlight Procession.

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 us all.

Photo Gallery: Torchlight Procession