1st March 2015
A Place You Can Find Heaven On Earth
Next week there is a retiring collection for H.C.P.T. As many of you know every year I go on the annual Pilgrimage for children who are sick and disabled. In all, with children, nurses, helpers and priests, there will be 5,000 of us. All the different groups wear different colours. It helps pick your own people out in a crowd; especially if they are heading in the wrong direction!
It’s this multitude of different colours plus the happy smiley faces of all, and the excitement and noise of the children, that has earned the title, “The Rainbow Pilgrimage” from the people of Lourdes themselves.
I don’t know how it ended up that we always go Easter Week, the first week of the pilgrimage season, but it is Fortuitous.
Why? Because once I was asked, what makes Lourdes H.C.P.T so special?
My answer was simple – Because here Christianity works!!
On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the Resurrection: when Jesus rose from the dead he inaugurated his kingdom, in which we could be remade in his image. A kingdom where his love with its emphasis on love, peace healing and reconciliation can reign; where each person is equally valued and treated with the dignity that befits our new status as daughters and sons of God.
For some the vision of this kingdom remains “pie in the sky” – but it isn’t!! And it isn’t because you can see it powerfully happening in Lourdes. Here these children and all who are sick and disabled, take pride of place. All the values of the world are turned upside down, and EVERYONE is special!! And that’s why everyone is smiling and so happy!!
I am always wary that it is so easy to push our favourite charities and causes, which is why I’ve only ever had one appeal since I’ve been here. Like every charity the pressures and demands get bigger, so I hope you’ll forgive me by asking for your help and support this year.