Lourdes - An Unforgettable Experience

For the first time this summer a small group from Princethorpe College helped the charity HCPT take a group from Rushden, near Northampton, on a pilgrimage holiday to Hosanna House in Lourdes.

HCPT is a charity that takes disabled and disadvantaged people on pilgrimage holidays to the Catholic shrine in the foothill of the Pyrenees, which is well known for welcoming the sick and handicapped. Lower Sixth pupils Sam Bromage-Eccles and Isabel Meade, along with recent school leaver Charlie Barnes, Rod Isaacs, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, and, teacher, Sarah Sellars joined the group of nearly 40 people from all Christian backgrounds and none. Some of the group had been to Lourdes more than half a dozen times before. Also forming part of the group were Joanne and Emma, accompanied by Carol and Charlie Bromley who help run the Granger’s Club for adults with learning difficulties in Willenhall where our Sixth Form students have volunteered on a Tuesday evening for many years.

The week-long visit was full of wonderful experiences – such as taking part in a beautiful candlelight rosary procession, Mass in the underground basilica that can seat 35,000 people, a trip to a local market, a coach ride over one of the high passes used in the Tour de France and an afternoon exploring a deep cavern. With half a dozen wheelchairs this proved quite tiring! Sadly, Lower Sixth Former, Esme Down was not able to join the group due to ill health, but the contemplative order of nuns we visited sent her back a rosary bracelet and gave us all a glimpse of the joy that can be present in those who dedicate their lives to God.

As one member of our group put it, ‘This was a really amazing and truly humbling experience. I will never forget it.’

The College very much hopes that the links with HCPT can be strengthened and developed in future.

For more information on the work HCPT does please see http://www.hcpt.org.uk/