Lourdes in your Living Room begins TOMORROW, Monday 27 July – offering a full week of pilgrimage for all ages, organised by BCYS.
Bishop Alan will preach at the 10.30am Mass on Monday and each day includes Morning Prayer at 9pm, Mass, Rosary and Angelus at 12noon and Afternoon Reflection at 4.30pm. Night prayer will be at 9.30pm. There will be a Marian (‘Torchlight’) procession on Thursday at 8pm where the Hail Mary will be prayed in over 40 languages, as well as Stations of the Cross at 5pm on Friday. A talent show offers a social element to the pilgrimage on Friday evening.
There is also a full BCYS programme for those aged 15-23 including daily prayer at 9am via Instagram and Zoom, a quiz on Monday at 7pm and crepe making via YouTube on Tuesday at 7pm. A service of reconciliation and thanksgiving will take place on Wednesday at 7pm and there will be a Q&A with Bishop Alan on Friday at 3.30pm.
Fr Dominic Howarth, who is working with the youth service to run the virtual pilgrimage, has received great feedback on the pilgrimage and associated challenge from people across the Diocese. He says: “How wonderful it was to receive this email earlier this week: ‘I know the Lourdes challenge is really for the young people but having been with you so often I wanted to get involved. I have sent £36, for you and Cafod to share and I have said 18 Rosaries, lit 18 candles in front of Our Lady of Lourdes statue at Church, and I have made contact with 18 lonely people who I know are having a hard time during this strange period.’”
“Each of us involved in organising next week were really heartened when we read that: even in this very unusual way of offering pilgrimage, we are still serving older pilgrims – and they are serving us! We have also heard of a pilgrim knitting 18 scarves, which she will then give to a homeless charity. We hope these things inspire others too.”
The 18 hour challenge:
Overnight from 4.30pm on Saturday 25 to 10.30am on Sunday 26 July, young people who would have been on the 18 hour coach journey to Lourdes have run 18km, passed a rugby ball 1800 times, painted 18 pictures, baked 18 cakes, cooked 18 curries … and much more. 44 young and older pilgrims have each walked 18 miles, totalling the 792 miles from Brentwood to Lourdes. Sponsorship will be divided between Cafod’s coronavirus appeal, assisting the poorest in the world, as well as our own youth ministry, where funds have been hit hard. To donate online go to www.bcys.net/donate, where you will also find bank details for a bank transfer. Or post a cheque payable to “BRCDT Youth Service” to Fr Dominic, 18 hour challenge, Walsingham House at Abbotswick, Navestock Side, Brentwood, Essex CM14 5SH. Thank you for any sponsorship you can offer.
If you would like a little flavour of the Green Screen in action, then the link to a short and humorous introductory video for the pilgrimage is: