1996 Dunkeld Lourdes Pilgrimage

On Friday 19th July, just under 100 pilgrims from the Diocese flew from Edinburgh Airport on the Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. At Lourdes, they were joined by a number of helpers and a group from the parish of Saint Francis, Dundee who had travelled overland under the leadership of Fr. Eugene O’Sullivan.

The principal celebrant of the opening Mass of the Pilgrimage was Bishop Logan, who welcomed Bishop Devine and the pilgrims from the Diocese of Motherwell to the Mass, which was also the opening Mass of their pilgrimage. Pilgrims from both Dioceses also joined together for Mass at the Grotto on Sunday morning.

During the pilgrimage, pilgrims were given the opportunity to visit the various venues associated with the life of Saint Bernadette within the town of Lourdes as well as a visit to Bartrès. They also attended the International Mass in Saint Pius X Underground Basilica on the Wednesday, where Fr. Brian McLean read the gospel and other Dunkeld pilgrims were involved in other parts of the liturgy and in the stewarding of the Basilica.

The foreword to the 1996 Pilgrimage Booklet is reproduced below:

The Church can be described in different ways and using a whole variety of images. One such image used much in recent years is “the pilgrim people”. The Church is God’s pilgrim people constantly being called to journey forward, with Jesus Christ our Lord leading us. 

For each of us life too is a journey, a pilgrimage, as we make our way to our heavenly home. From time to time we make particular pilgrimages when we leave home and travel to some hallowed place. One such place is Lourdes and each year people from our diocese, and from many different countries, come on pilgrimage here.

At Lourdes we have special opportunities for prayer, and places like the Grotto help us to pray. In the daily Masses and Blessed Sacrament Processions we see afresh the central place of the Eucharist in our lives. With the presence and participation of many sick and disabled pilgrims we see more clearly their special contribution in the Church and we are encouraged to think of new ways in which we can be of service to others. As in Our Lady’s message to Bernadette we see the need for penance in our lives and there are opportunities for making a personal Confession in the Sacrament of Penance. There are many ways of drawing closer to our Lord in Lourdes. And one of the most special graces we experience is that in Mary we have a Mother and as we discover this truth more clearly we find that always she points us to her Son, who is our Leader on life’s journey.

My prayer is that through your pilgrimage to Lourdes you may be more able to keep alive the spirit of pilgrimage in your life at home.

+ Vincent Logan
Bishop of Dunkeld