You may have seen media reports or seen things posted online announcing that Joe Walsh Tours, who have provided our flights to Lourdes over the last few years, have ceased trading. I want to reassure any pilgrims who have paid deposits to us that these are held in our Pilgrimage Account and are perfectly safe. No individual pilgrim has paid anything to Joe Walsh Tours so should not try to claim from them. We are happy to retain any deposits for next year’s pilgrimage but if anyone would like the deposits that we are holding for them returned they should write to me at St Vincent’s, Tatton St, Knutsford, WA16 6HR.
Fr David Long
It is with a really heavy heart that I have to announce that following discussions with the Bishop, our travel agent and our Pilgrimage Management Team it has been decided that once again it will be impossible to have a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. We had all hoped that it would have been possible to go ahead with a small pilgrimage albeit without any assisted pilgrims or youth section. However, in the light of the Government’s latest regulations with regard to international travel that would require testing for Covid before and after the Pilgrimage (at a minimum cost of £100 per person) and the likelihood of the need to quarantine after the pilgrimage (possibly in a hotel at a cost of £1800) it was felt we had no alternative but to cancel the Pilgrimage.
Once again we plan to hold a Virtual Pilgrimage and members of the Management Team will be working on this in the weeks ahead. Once the plans are finalised we will let you have all the information you need to participate in the Virtual Pilgrimage.
These are indeed very difficult times for us all and I think we all experience a deep sense of loss at not being able to go on Pilgrimage in what would have been our 70th Year. We pray that Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette will intercede for an end to the pandemic and we keep in our prayers all those who have suffered illness or loss as a result of the Virus.
Fr David Long
Your prayers are asked for Canon Brendan Hoban who died peacefully in Nazareth House on Monday 29th March 2021. He travelled with the pilgrimage for many years and led the walking tours of the Shrine of Lourdes and places associated with St Bernadette. In 2008 he was appointed an Honorary Canon of the Sanctuaries of Lourdes.
May he rest in peace.
Our Lady of Lourdes pray for him.
St Bernadette pray for him.
I am delighted to announce that after much thought and reflection Bishop Mark has appointed Siobhan Cartwright as the new President of the Hospitality in succession to John Campbell. All of you will know Siobhan who has been associated with our Pilgrimage for well over twenty years. She co-ordinates the support of our assisted pilgrims in the hotels and has also been secretary of the Diocesan Hospitality. She is deeply committed to the message of Lourdes and to our Diocesan Pilgrimage. I really look forward to working with her in the future for the good of all who are part of our Shrewsbury Pilgrimage Family. I know Siobhan is shocked but deeply honoured by her appointment. Please keep her very much in your prayers.
PILGRIMAGE MANAGEMENT TEAM
Bishop Mark has also agreed to the appointment of a Management Team to support me in my work as Pilgrimage Director. This will be comprised of all key personnel who lead different aspects of our Pilgrimage and I am very grateful to Bishop Mark for agreeing to this. The Team is:
Fr David Long Pilgrimage Director
Siobhan Cartwright President of the Hospitality
Phil Malone Pilgrimage Administrator
Dr John McKay Chief Medical Officer
Nuala Fitzmaurice Matron
Richard Emsley Chief Brancardier
Sandy Fairley Youth Pilgrimage Director
Andrew O’Brien Diocesan Safeguarding Officer
Fr Chris Matthews Diocesan MC and Pilgrimage Liturgy Co-ordinator
Fr David Long
It is with sadness that I have to inform you that due to illness John Cambpell has had to step down from his role as President of the Hospitality. As you all know John has been an incredible servant to our pilgrimage for so many years. Until a couple of years ago he was also Chief Brancardier and has been President of the Hospitality for twenty years. During that time John has been a wonderful smiling presence around the Pilgrimage gently guiding us and encouraging us all. He brought incredible commitment and generosity to all the roles he has taken up in service of the Pilgrimage. Lourdes and our Pilgrimage has been such a part of John’s life that it is hard to imagine him not at the forefront of things in the future. I do hope that in time his health will improve sufficiently for him to be part of the pilgrimage where hopefully we can look after him rather than him looking after us. Please keep John and his wife Vera in your prayers at this difficult time.
Bishop Mark will appoint a new President in the New Year. If members of the Hospitality wish to nominate someone that they think should be considered for this important position please send their name directly to me at St Vincent’s, Tatton St, Knutsford WA16 6HR before 21 December with the reason why you are suggesting the person.
Fr David Long
The personal information you provide about yourself on our Lourdes Pilgrimage forms and via other means as requested has been collected for legal reasons and legitimate reasons to help us arrange your visit to Lourdes and in pursuance of the Roman Catholic Faith and charitable works. The personal information about you will be stored securely and will be retained for a period of up to 6 years, following which it will be securely destroyed. Other than as required by Law The Diocese of Shrewsbury will not transfer your personal data to third parties without your permission, and it will not be used for marketing, fundraising purposes. You can read our full Privacy Notice at www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org.uk/about-us/privacy-notice.
The Diocese of Shrewsbury is a registered charity with charity number 234025