Welcome to Lourdes

Opening Mass – Sunday

The beginning of the Lourdes pilgrimage happens at different stages: leaving home, the journey itself and arrival in the town of Lourdes and then the opening liturgy of our pilgrimage.

Today, the Church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit on this great Solemnity of Pentecost.

We bring to this Mass the intentions of our pilgrimage: all that we bring as individuals and all that we bring as pilgrims together from the Archdiocese of Birmingham and beyond. So much to pray for, so many people that we represent here. Joyfully, we come on pilgrimage to pray, to do penance and to seek God’s blessing on our life’s journey.

In a special way this year, we take up the Lourdes theme ‘…to build a chapel here’. This week, launched as we are from Pentecost, we reflect on our place in the Church, the People of God. As we do so, we ask for the Holy Spirit’s ongoing guidance for Pope Francis and the Synod Process and for our Diocesan Plan and Vision.

Let us keep as the focus of our prayer throughout this week, our sick pilgrims and all those who come to Lourdes at this time with any particular need. We also celebrate the presence among us of so many young pilgrims and we ask God’s blessing on them as a sign of joy and hope on our pilgrimage.

Today's Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley, and the Homily was given by Bishop David Evans.

"The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. Though Jesus had prepared the apostles for his resurrection at the same time as he had prepared them for his death, the apostles did not understand what he was talking about until they had become absolutely certain of his death and then could not doubt their eyes when they saw him standing before them, recognisably himself, in his glorious body."

Read Homily in full

After our Mass, there will be a first opportunity as a pilgrimage to walk through the Grotto, as our Diocesan Candle is placed alongside many other pilgrimage candles.

It is always important to observe silence as we walk through the Grotto, a place of reflection and prayer.

Photo Galleries

Opening Mass

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2023, Opening Mass

Procession through the Grotto and lighting the Diocesan Candle

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2023, Procession through the Grotto and blessing of Diocesan Candle