Apologies to my readers for the slow posting. Term has started in Oxford, and the busy-ness of the Latin Mass Society, and other things, has reached a sort of crescendo for reasons too tedious to explain.
Here, however, is a project close to my heart which I can now announce: a traditional pilgrimage to Lourdes, with the sick, organised by the Latin Mass Society. We have actually booked the space on one of the tour-operators' schedules, so we have dates: 17-21st September 2012.
The LMS has had groups going to Lourdes before, but the point of Lourdes, more than of any other shrine, I think, is taking the sick, and we have never done that before. Our Lady commanded that people should come on pilgrimage 'with the sick', and created a spring in which they could be bathed. Many, many graces have been bestowed through this means over the century and a half which have elapsed since then, included a stream of extraordinary miracles of healing which have continued to this day.
If you haven't been to Lourdes, you must go. If you've been, then you'll want to come on this pilgrimage, where the liturgy and spirituality will be traditional: the traditional Mass, traditional devotions, and so on.
Lourdes is an extraordinary place. It is the most visited 'tourist' destination in France, and when you get there you will understand why. It is famous for its tacky shops but that is not why the visitors are there: they are there for Our Lady.
After my appeal in the Mass of Ages in the last issue, a number of very good people have come forward to volunteer to help organise it: lay people and clergy with considerable experience of Lourdes. We can now throw the thing open to all who would like to register an interest, both the hale and hearty and those who would come as 'malades', those needing medical care, help with mobility and so on. We can't take your money for booking at this stage but we'd like to hear from you.
The dates are 17-21st September (Monday to Friday). We'll be flying from Stanstead (unless you want to make your own way there) and the all-inclusive price will be in the region of £600.
Email us to register your interest, and let us know if you've been before: