The Raphael Pilgrimage to Lourdes: 1098328
Our Lady of Lourdes
Pilgrimage Programme & Application Forms
Main party travel
Youth Group travelling by coach
Travel details from other locations
Accommodation for the sick
How to apply?
How much will it cost?
Chief Medical Officer
Leonard Cheshire VC
Treasurer and financial matters
Why must Raphael be a charity
Declaration of Trust
Terms of Reference
Health and Safety
Financial Management, Control & Accounting
Disclosure of Abuse
Review of Raphael Operations and Management
The Gilbert Thompson Memorial Fund
Trustee awareness of Charity Commission Act 2011
Children on the pilgrimage
2002 2003 pilgrimage
Requiescat in Pace ARCHIVE
Guest Book Archive
WORKSHOP 2009 - South (Archive note)
WORKSHOP 2009 - North (Archive note)
Michael Arditti's visit toLourdes with Raphael...
Lourdes 2008 : Flikr contribution
2009 pics & comments
Dedication Service September 2009 (Archive note)
Raphael Reunion in the South 2013
Catenian Association Bursary Fund
REUNION IN THE NORTH 2013
In memory of....
'Raphael - Looking to the future' A workshop day for all
Those who come regularly...
.... on the Raphael annual pilgrimage to Lourdes as carers, helpers, nurses or doctors, are given a pin to wear with pride.
[If anyone has any photos for this event please email to firstname.lastname@example.org as .jpg attachments]
This is not a reward....
....but a symbol of their commitment and dedication after five years to Our Lady of Lourdes, and to the service of her pilgrims.
1 Pet. 4:10
Each of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for theses different graces of God, put yourself at the service of others.
Words of encouragement from our Director.
'This evening is just one of a few opportunities within the year for me to express public thanks to those who help or support the Raphael Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
'As much as tonight is a celebration...
... for those will receive a five year pin, this is a ceremony of dedication. Dedication to Our Lady of Lourdes and to our sick pilgrims.
'The prayers we say together...
...have a profound meaning: they are both a dedication and a commitment freely given by volunteers.
'There has always been a strong association ...
...between Lourdes and those who are sick. Almost by definition those who are sick or who suffer disability need help to get to Lourdes and help while in Lourdes. This is the origin of the helpers.
'Raphael dedicates itself...
...to the sick and puts the sick pilgrim at the heart of its pilgrimage.
'To those who are being formally recognised tonight, ...
... congratulations: well done and thanks. Without you we could not begin to contemplate a pilgrimage and there are a number who have served for many years, five, ten and up to thirty years.
'For some, one week a year is insufficient...
...and they return to help with other pilgrimages or they work for the Hospitalité doing a stage week. Work or service in Lourdes is a prayer. It starts with a prayer so it can be offered to Almighty God.
'Often Lourdes is a place which touches the emotions.
Our memory is jogged and we think of the loved ones we have lost. I am someone who a few years back needed a wheelchair. Allowing yourself to be pushed in a chair is an act of faith and in this room there are helpers, former helpers, who have had the humility to return to Lourdes to be helped.
'So on behalf of the sick to the helpers:
... thank you. On behalf of the helpers to the sick, thank you for having the courage and the confidence in us to look after you. For wheelchair users you do need to put your faith in your pusher.
'I wish to offer special thanks to our priests ...
...without whom we could not celebrate Mass and to Fr Leo in particular. At our first meeting he greeted me like some form of hero and welcomed a Tottenham supporter into a presbytery where the incumbent had memorabilia relating to Manchester City. I have since learned that Fr Leo has leanings to Burnley football club.
'Thanks, too, to...
.... our pilgrimage doctors, nurses, altar servers, liturgists, members of the choir, handmaids, and Brancardiers.
'It has not been an easy year for Raphael...
...and I need to pay tribute to the trustees of the charity who have weathered a storm and laid the foundation for this year’s pilgrimage. Being a trustee is a thankless task: there is no kudos and sometimes aggravation. It does have its compensations: the satisfaction of doing a difficult job well.
'I am going to ask two things.
One is to invite someone here to offer themselves as a trustee. Deacon Chris is standing down after having served three years and the charity will need to replace him. You can contact me, Kath Scahill, Deacon Chris or Francis Hindle to further your application. The search for an additional trustee will not be confined to those on pilgrimage with us this year.
'Secondly, what I would ask each of you...
... to do is to become ambassadors for Lourdes and ambassadors for Raphael. We are not diocesan based and we rely on word of mouth to promote our pilgrimage. You must be our mouthpiece and you must do what you can to recruit new helpers of every description, particularly priests, doctors and nurses.
'We are the privileged few who visit Lourdes.
Our task is also to spread the message of Lourdes back home among our families and friends and those that we may meet. It is a special place made holy by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary and where we have the opportunity to pray together and within a larger international community.'
Paul Affleck. Director, Raphael Pilgrimage. 8th September 2009. Given at the Dedication Service held in the Transit Lounge, Accueil, Lourdes
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