Monday, 26 May 2014

And Here We Are...

2014-05-26 09.19.23The Blackfen pilgrimage started this morning with Low Mass at the Lady Altar. Annie Elizabeth's eldest son kindly gave up the opportunity to have a Bank Holiday Monday lie-in and served the Mass... this was after a Sunday where, at the ripe old age of 12, he MC'd the Sunday Missa Cantata, served two consecutive Baptisms and then served Mass for Fr. Michael Mary of the Transalpine Redemptorists who happened to have dropped by with Brother Martin for a visit. Give that young man a medal...

The pilgrimage group is very small this year - several people expressed an interest, but then pulled out. However, I think I've managed to get a good programme of events lined up. We don't have a server, unless someone happens to materialise, so it will be Low Mass each day, but the silence and stillness of Low Mass has a special charm once you get to appreciate that silence doesn't mean "doing nothing!"

The journey by minibus from Blackfen to Heathrow was uneventful, and the Groups check-in at Terminal 5 was wonderfully smooth. Security was a bit of a pain - taking laptops and kindles out of bags when the bags are being x-rayed anyway seems a little excessive - but there was still time for people to go and get lunch or do a little shopping.

British Airways are very civilized about seat allocations, so we didn't have a mad scramble, and the flight was pretty straightforward - even the turbulence announced by the captain didn't disturb my gin and tonic. Once at Toulouse we were met by another driver who had been sent to collect us. Rush hour traffic in Toulouse is no joke, but once we were in the suburbs it was all plain sailing. I was able to put my mobile phone camera through its paces, and was delighted to find that it coped really well with the rapidly-moving landscape - I am even more impressed by the phone's capabilities than before!

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Dinner was waiting for us in the hotel when we arrived. The hotel is lovely - it reminds me of an Agatha Christie novel (minus the bodies and the Belgian detective) and I wanted to get some new photos on my phone camera. My knee and ankle are playing up - a combination of travel and rather wet weather - so I thought I'd skip tonight's Torchlight Procession, and I'm now enjoying a cup of gorgeous hot chocolate before retiring.

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I've brought the laptop and so plan to blog about each day's activities. If anyone is in Lourdes and wants to join us for Mass, tomorrow it is in the Jeanne d'Arc Chapel (in the Upper Basilica) at 3pm. 

And in case anyone is around, on Wednesday morning we will be in Bartrès for Mass in the parish church at 10am...

1 comment:

efpastoremeritus2 said...

Prayerful good wishes

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