The twenty third annual school pilgrimage to Lourdes took place between Sunday 12 July and Friday 17 July 2015. 35 students from year 7-10 travelled to Lourdes via Paris by executive coach enjoying full board accommodation at the Hotel America.
On the outward journey to Lourdes, the group stopped in Paris for a few hours to experience the sights of this famous city and had a one hour cruise on the River Seine before continuing the journey to Lourdes.
Whilst in Lourdes, students took part in the torchlight procession, Stations of the Cross and visited the places associated with the Lourdes story and life of Bernadette. The village of Bartres was also visited where students had the opportunity to see the home of the Lague family which was the home of Bernadette whilst she experienced bouts of illness. Students also travelled on the Pic du Jer funicular railway to a height of 921 metres experiencing fantastic views of the town of Lourdes and outlying villages.
The group also visited the Caves of Betharam which gave them an opportunity to explore the vast underground network of caves and rivers as well as learning the difference between a stalactite and stalagmite!
A full day trip to the Spanish town of San Sebastian saw the group spend a few hours on the beach as well as making the ascent of Mont Igeldo via funicular railway to enjoy a picnic, fun fair and facilities at the top.
On the final night the group visited the grotto, lit candles, said prayers and deposited the petitions that had been given to them by people back at home. The last night is always a special night and gives students the opportunity to think about and to inwardly thank those parents/carers/family members who have made their trip to Lourdes possible.
The final morning saw students make their last visit to the Grotto as well as filling containers with Holy Water to take back home. Lunch was a meal at McDonald’s, followed by a farewell gathering before loading up the coach for the return journey back to Liverpool.
Inevitably on the return journey the question of “can I put my name down for next year” was asked and details for the trip in July 2016 will be available from Mr. Postlethwaite by the end of September.