THE DIOCESE of Clogher has announced next year’s pilgrimage to Lourdes will not be going ahead due to the ongoing pandemic.
Bishop Larry Duffy made the announcement last week following careful consideration and medical advice on the impact it could have on the pilgrims, especially those who would need assistance.
It will be the third year in the annual pilgrimage, which has been a fixture in the diocese for the past 50 years, has been called off due to Covid.
“The pilgrimage was tentatively scheduled for 8-13 July next, but due to the above considerations, and also the various practical arrangements that must be in place, it has been judged prudent to have the pilgrimage made via online means only this coming year,” said a diocesan spokesman.
“If conditions allow, some members of the pilgrimage team may make the pilgrimage on a personal basis so that the prayers and needs of people here at home can be brought to the Shrine of Mary.
“It is planned to have an in-person pilgrimage in July 2023 and arrangements for that will be made known later in 2022.”
Bishop Duffy said while the news will be a disappointment for many, it was a wise decision “which recognises the persistence of the virus and its impact in the medium to longer-term.”
He added pilgrims could still participate to some extent via an online pilgrimage when it was due to take place in July, as had been done over the past two years, and invited people in every parish to take part.
“I invite people to join me in prayer throughout the year for the needs and intentions of all, especially those affected by the pandemic, and to bring these to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes,” Bishop Duffy added.
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