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Adult Group

Lourdes 2016 Massabielle Pilgrimage to Lourdes

under the auspices of The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes



Saturday 28th May Leeds Bradford to Bergerac  Flight LS235

Departing Leeds 07.15hrs Arriving Bergerac 10.15hrs Coach Transfer Bergerac to Lourdes

Sean Gilligan, Michael Devlin, Keith Moreton,  Brenda Edgar, Margaret Farrar, Caroline Knight, David Walsh, Jacqueline Walsh,  Patricia Sutcliffe, Rosalie Swire, Shirley Tarpy, Dolly Makhoabenyane,  Dorothy Middleton,  Stanley Middleton,  Marion Hennigan, ,Catherine Haig, Steve Kelly, Christine Kelly, Tony Bond, Teresa Petrozzi, Lewis Petrozzi, Jasmine Petrozzi, Doreen Kilcoyne, Joan Riley, Kathleen Kennedy, Margaret Fudge, Maria Bucci, Giovanni Puzo, Raphael Familio,(A) Maria Mastrantuono, Mary Lohan, Margaret Rhodes, Gilda Pacholtchyszsyn,   Rita Whatmuff, Jane Whatmuff, Anne Lynch, Mary Mendoza  Josephine Abbruzezzi, Shainade Lowery, Lissamma Joseph. Varghese Joseph,     Mollie Hughes (A),    Chris Brady (A).  Marie Falco (A)  Angela Rollins (A) ,    Stefania Bailey,    Philomena Berry,Rena Jose,   Peter Butler,  Sheila Butler, Mavis Clements, Shelagh Stokes, Antonietta DiCristofaro,Michel Angelo Iannucci, ,  Maria Puopolo, Giovanna Rinaldi (A), Marie Caltieri (A)   Barbara Pompova (outward only), Father John O’Keeffe (return only)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                58

 (A) indicates that Airport assistance will be requested at Leeds Bradford and Bergerac


Saturday 4th June  Coach transfer Lourdes to Bergerac. Bergerac to Leeds Bradford Flight LS236 Departing Bergerac 10.50hrs. Arriving Leeds Bradford 11.45hrs

Overland  (Coach) (Friday 27th May  – Friday 3rd June)

Outward: Friday 27th May ASSEMBLE IN CLIFFE CASTLE CAR PARK AT 08.15hrs

Massabielle: Joseph Laughlin , Michael Head, Dorota Plata,  Marek Plata, Wictoria Plata, Nikola Plata,

Anne Marie Mullins, Oliver Carter, Mariena Cymbalko, Danuta Sobska, Mollie Shutt, Kathryn Ruane

Teresa Myszka, Olga Mizigarova, Tibor Mizigar  Catherine Cahill.  Barbara Pompova,(return only)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 16/17

Holy Family School: Friday 27th May ASSEMBLE IN CLIFFE CASTLE CAR PARK AT  08.15hrs

Patrick  Moran Kasia Cybulska Annette Klava, Dave Metcalfe, James Moreland

Mollie Arnold, Ciara Clarkson,  Lucie Eardley,  Melissa Emmett,  Ciara Fleming Katie Howe, Daniel  Smith 

Christian Kildunne,  Elizabeth King,  Jack Lohan,  Sadie Maude, Rebecca Memushaj, Georgia Metcalfe, 

Millie  Rollins, Tyler Sands, James Seward, Alima Ismail.                                                                                                     22

St Bedes School: Friday 27th May ASSEMBLE  AT ST BEDES SCHOOL AT 07.45hrs

Jases Utting, Nicholas Parker , Joanne Whitaker, Connor Cairney  Daniel Emsley 

Casim Khan, Cameron Kitson, Lucas Newlands, Jacob Radcliff, Lewis Rands, Dylan Rawlinson,

Darren Riley.                                                                                                                                                                   12

Overland Return: Thursday 2nd June  18.00hrs  from Hotel Lisieux Lourdes


Acceuil- Assisted Pilgrims

Michel Angelo Iannucci.    Maria Falco (Ronga), Angela Rollins, Maria Puopolo, Giovanna Rinaldi,

Doreen Kilcoyne, Joan Riley, Antonietta Crowley, Gilda Pacholtchyszsyn,  Mary Lohan, Anne Lynch,  

Raphael Familio, Maria Familio, Marie Caltieri, Shirley Tarpy, Josephine Abbruzesse


Personal Gains – Sheelagh Gardner-Thorpe

Chairman of The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes 2006 - 2009

My first visit to Lourdes - A life changing experience  

(from The Pilgrims Way,  Newsletter of The Sociey of Our Lady of Lourdes)

The lonely little heap of luggage, isolated on the empty platform in the empty station, was not a good beginning. It was completely unnoticed and unknown, and there was nothing for it but to pick up my belongings, find the exit, discover the coaches, climb into what I hope was the right one and wait and see. This was Lourdes. Although the coach was full, it might just as well have been empty as it swung around the corners of the short journey to the Hostel. There were women chattering but not to me. Time to go home. Half an hour in Lourdes must surely be enough!



That was twenty-three years ago. Now, a third of a lifetime is not enough. Heaven laughs at our discomfiture but with a kindness and guidance not understood until we too can laugh with gratitude for showered gifts. Indeed the gifts given so freely to us all in Lourdes are so much more than we can ever deserve, or expect.


As I end my last three happy years as Chair of The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes, I can look back over many more with amazement at how differently I see so many things since coming to Lourdes with the Society. To my shame, I even had no particular interest in Our Lady, coming to Lourdes only to accompany a dear ill friend, rather than to visit the Grotto. However, one week was enough for the attraction of Lourdes to have its effect, and no year is now complete without a visit to Our Lady, while the remainder of the year is spent largely in encouraging others to come too. I have learnt so much. I have learnt from the lives of the saints from talks that are part of each pilgrimage these days, I have learnt from the homilies, short and practical, at the early morning helpers’ Masses in the Accueil, I have learnt from the sick pilgrims, whose humour and courage never fails to inspire, I have learnt humility from being stupidly dense, and I have learnt loving camaraderie from my fellow-helpers, complete with mops and buckets.


An unexpected aspect of Lourdes is the ready laughter always near the surface. I suspect each of us has a store of stories which give us pleasure to reflect upon, at least in retrospect, and which still amuse years later. It also seems to be true that strange coincidences happen in Lourdes – we just happen to meet among the thousands the one person we want to find, or just the right thing is said to us to solve a problem. Friends are made who remain friends after more than twenty years, possibly due to shared significant experiences, and there is an air of comfortable oneness with others from Lourdes, either when there together or later when at home. We become part of a Lourdes family.


It is no exaggeration to say that Lourdes has completely changed my attitude to Our Lady, and that everything else good has followed. Life has been infinitely richer since being offered an invitation from Our Lady to visit her shrine in Lourdes all those years ago, and I give her thanks and extend these thanks to the Society, without which nothing would have been the same. All these riches, so unexpected and even unimaginable on that first miserable morning, can only be described as gifts from Our Lady. Even the sound of the birds chirping at first light here at home take me back in an instant to those early mornings hurrying across the Domaine, reminding me daily of grateful and personal gains.



Band of Brothers – Miranda Villiers

(Editor of ‘The Pilgrims Way’  The Newsletter of The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes)


I missed the screening of this well-known ten-part serial when it was first shown on television, but earlier this year it was shown again on successive evenings, rather late at night. The year 2009, seventy years from the outbreak of the Second World War, and sixty-five from the Normandy Landings could not fail to be a year of anniversaries. It was also the year during which the last veterans of the First World War died. Much material covering both World Wars was aired on television, and so I caught up with Band of Brothers. I found it compelling and watched most of the episodes, which tell the story of how “Easy Company”, a random group of young men with no military experience in face very little experience of any kind – receive a baptism of fire when they are parachuted on to the Normandy beaches in 1944 and ordered to fight their way into Germany.


There is a lot of fighting; the company has first to survive the landing on Utah Beach and then the ferocious battles in the forests of the Ardennes. Not all survive, but the audience watches those who do gradually changing under the pressure of fearful events from being a disparate group of individuals with clashing desires and interests, bent on pleasing themselves at whatever cost to the others, into a whole. As their purpose hardens, however, and as they come face to face with danger, fear and death they are imperceptibly forged into a group dedicated to working together in order to achieve an aim which they all feel to be higher. And with the desire to co-operate comes sympathy and understanding, and an appreciation of each man’s worth; they witness terrible things, but leaders emerge unchallenged, friendships are forged, deeds of heroism and selflessness are done; each man bears great sorrows and each is comforted by his comrades; each goes to his place and fights there without encumbering his neighbours. When they come through they are as though transfigured; they are full, rounded men, and the film displays this with great sensitivity.


The words of our ex-Chairman on the previous page about her own personal gain from Lourdes made me think how well this film presents a metaphor of our lives as helper-pilgrims. We are spared the horrors of war, but we too are asked to do difficult things: apart from the physical problems of caring for sick pilgrims, we are asked to be selfless and dedicated, sometimes to renounce and to surrender in an age and in a society where very few people feel they ever ought to renounce anything. We are also working towards a higher purpose, we are under orders, and in continual service to Our Lady and to the sick pilgrims we bring to Lourdes. We also are a disparate group of people from every walk of life; we also have to learn our place and go to where the leadership thinks we fit in best – not always the place we would choose if we were left to ourselves. We might even have to come to terms with the uncomfortable fact that in this situation the most highly qualified are not always the most effective and useful. We too have to learn to co-operate with others and, just as Easy Company found, a small miracle happens: with co-operation comes friendship, sympathy and understanding, and above all, a willingness to make sacrifices. This is a form of spiritual confidence, hardly won, which even extends to our daily lives; we learn to ignore the scornful attitude of so many people who, as soon as they hear the word ‘Lourdes’, make mocking comments about ‘miracles’ and ‘worshipping the Virgin Mary’.


Are we too a Band of Brothers?