As ever, it was a pleasure to spend the week in the company of our young people exploring and growing in their faith, and it has been fantastic to see how much the experience has touched and changed each of the young people who came with our group from St Thomas More, but also from the other school groups we shared a coach and hotel with – St John Fisher and St Margaret Ward.
The highlight of the week for me was seeing how our young people grew during the week – through being involved in the Mass, carrying banners, and introducing the Mass, to meeting new people and making new friends, sharing a ‘Lourdes moment’ or two when lighting a candle during prayer. One or two of our students really impressed individually too, and showed the Holy Spirit at work in them through their bravery and courage by first walking the high stations of the cross bare footed and then going in the baths.
Here’s what a few of our students had to say;
"Where do I start...This was the most incredible, unbelievable experience of my life, I have never felt so at home and I will never forget the amazing week I had with the diocese, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made my week special, I will never forget this place, it will always be in my heart I'm so looking forward in seeing some of you there too!" Dagmara Dudziak
"Lourdes was spiritually uplifting" Ashleigh Edwards
"The experience of the baths was overwhelming, this really made me feel cleansed and healed" Roxanne Kenny
"Joyful, amazing and uplifting" Nathan Williamson
"Lourdes was so powerful it was like an electric shock" Nathan Tomlinson
"My religion and love for it has no limits of race, culture, colour or language. All these beautiful people in Lourdes have proven this in such a way that words cannot describe" Aleena Vijee
I am very proud of our students, and glad that they listened to God’s calling to them to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. Hopefully the strength, confidence and grace they received from this experience will live with them for a lifetime.
Megan Ford, Lay Chaplain, St Thomas More Catholic Academy.