Thursday 8 November 2007

British Province of Carmelites to join the CA Pilgrimage

The trustees of the Catholic Association have accepted the request of the British Province of Carmelites to join the CA Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The Carmelite Order is one of the Church ’ s ancient religious communities, founded in the Holy Land some 800 years ago. Today the Carmelite Family is made up of friars, nuns, sisters, hermits and lay people, who form praying communities at the service of all God’s people.

Carmelites have a particular devotion to Mary the Mother of God, and the final apparition of Our Lady to Saint Bernadette took place on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Although individual Carmelites have taken part in the Catholic Association Pilgrimage over a number of years, the British Province of Carmelites will formally come under the umbrella of the Catholic Association for its Pilgrimage during the Jubilee Year 2008, marking the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at the Grotto.

The Pilgrimage Director for the Carmelites will be Johan Bergström-Allen, a lay member of the Order and former councillor of the Lourdes Hospitalité and the CA Hospitalité.

The Carmelites will come to Lourdes under the leadership of the Prior Provincial. The current Prior Provincial, Fr Tony Lester, said “Having been a brancardier with the Catholic Association Pilgrimage for the last few years, I’m delighted that my fellow Carmelites will be able to come to Our Lady’s sanctuary in Lourdes with such a fine group of pilgrims. Collaborating with the CA will mean that we can accompany more assisted pilgrims, and we shall work hard to recruit more volunteer helpers, particularly nurses and young people.”

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