For the first time in four years, the Clogher Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place from Friday 7 to Wednesday 12 July 2023. The 270 pilgrims – including over 50 from Clogher don Óige- will be led by Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher. At Lourdes, the Clogher pilgrims will join pilgrims from Galloway for the Mass at the Grotto on Saturday morning. Other liturgies and devotions will include the Anointing of the Sick, an International Mass, Stations of the Cross and the Torchlight Procession.

Opportunity for closeness to God

‘Thank God, we are able to return in-person to the shrine of Our Lady, to accompany those who are ill and to pray for healing and peace’, said Bishop Duffy. Noting that pilgrims across the diocese had to find different ways to come together in recent years, the Bishop thanked those who have ‘kept us connected, in communion with God and one another’. He continues: ‘the theme of Lourdes this year is “Go and tell the priests…to build a chapel”. By this, Our Lady is inviting us to build in our own hearts and in our communities a church that is rooted in love, a Church that follows the words of the Risen Christ and a Church that listens. Lourdes provides us with an opportunity to be close to God and close to Mary.’

Positive Response:

This will be the first pilgrimage since July 2019 as the annual journey of prayer to the shrine of Mary in the south-west of France were not possible in recent years due to the pandemic. However, considerable planning and organisation has gone into the resumption of the pilgrimage and the organisers are very pleased with the response. The Pilgrimage Director, Brian Armitage states that ‘the sadness and sense of loss over recent years has been replaced by the very positive response of so many people as we prepare to return to Lourdes. This pilgrimage is a very important part of the life of the diocese, but it is even more important for the many people who travel with us each year. We are delighted with the response’, he said.

People may follow the pilgrimage to Lourdes by visiting DIRECT FROM LOURDES – Lourdes Live TV

Updates and Photos will be made available on this site and via social media posts over the course of the pilgrimage. 

Pilgrimage Timetable
Friday 7th July

Travel to Lourdes
8.30pm Mass Notre Dame Chapel

Saturday 8th July
8.30am Grotto Mass Grotto
11.00am Group Photograph Esplanade
2.00pm Reconciliation Saint Joseph’s
4.00pm Stations of the Cross High Stations

Sunday 9th July 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
8.30am Mass for Assisted Pilgrims in Accueil Saint Paul’s Chapel
9.30am International Mass Saint Pie X
2.30pm Stations of the Cross Low Stations
3.30pm Party on the Prairie Prairie

Monday 10th July
9.00am Mass with Anointing of the Sick Saint Joseph’s
Directly after Mass Lighting of the Pilgrimage Candle Chapel of Light
2.30pm Passage around the Grotto Grotto
4.30pm Holy Hour – Eucharistic Adoration St Bernadette’s
Cote Carmel
9.00pm Torchlight Procession Esplanade

Tuesday 11th July
9.00am Mass Notre Dame
2.00pm Water Gesture Baths
4.00pm Pilgrimage Closing Liturgy Rosary Basilica
11.30pm Grotto Mass (optional) Grotto

Wednesday 12th July
8.00am Mass Saint Joseph’s.

Homily by Bishop Duffy at the Grotto Mass in Lourdes on Saturday 8 July 2023.

Gospel Reading John 2: 1-11

You are all welcome to Lourdes. It is good for us to be here. It is also fitting that  the wedding feast at Cana is the setting or our Gospel story. The bride and groom are not named. What happened, and who attended would surely be talked about for years. Not only did Jesus and Mary attend but their true identity was revealed to the guests.

It all came about because of an embarrassing situation; the guests ran short of wine. It was Mary who was first to act. She had a quiet word with her son and advised guests “to do whatever he tells you.” To everyone’s amazement he turned gallons of water into wine. In doing this some people could see the hand of God. He allowed his true identity to be seen. John in the Gospel says – “He let his glory be seen – and His disciples believed in him.” He brought light and joy into the world. In this very act the words of Isaiah, which we heard in this morning’s First Reading, came true  “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is. 9:1). 

As we read further in the Gospel more signs are given that Jesus is God among his people. That he has come to die and rise for us sinners so as to invite us into his family. “Do whatever he tells you” is Mary’s advice. What humility and faith in her son by a lady close to him. She is a model for all who wish to follow Christ. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she takes us by the hand in following her son. All who walk in her company are blessed.

May we be blessed as we walk in her company here in this holy place – and always, Amen.

Bishop Duffy with Clogher don Óige group at Lourdes, July 2023
Next articleDeath of Canon Philip Connolly PE, Retired PP of Clontibret