IN one of the largest pilgrimages to leave England this year, more than 2,000 people are due to arrive in Lourdes today (Friday). They include Birmingham and Salford diocesan pilgrimages and the Birmingham Youth Pilgrimage.
Their trains leaving their home towns yesterday (Thursday) " crossed " with others coming back. Some 900 members of the Hexham and Newcastle diocesan pilgrimage. led by their Bishop-elect. Mgr. Cunningham, arrived home as the others setting out.
The Hcxham and Newcastle group had left Newcastle Central last Thursday, the sound of the Lourdes hymn echoing through the station as the two trains. including one carriage of sick pilgrims, drew out on the first Stage of the journey. Bishop Cunningham was leading his first pilgrimage as Bishop of the diocese. He was accompanied by Mgr. C. P. Cronin, and Mgr. Paul Grant, president of Ushan. who was the pilgrimage spiritual director; Fr. R. McLaughlan, the organiser, and many other priests.
The train stopped at many places to pick up more pilgrims and at Sunderland there was a large crowd of wellwishcrs on the platform and the Lourdes hymn was again heard.
Throughout the, diocese this week there has been Rosary and Benediction in many churches for the aims of the pilgrimage which include peace throughout the world.
The 560 including 62 sick members of the Salford pilgrimage linked up with the 518 ordinary pilgrims and sick on the Birmingham diocesan pilgrimage, and the 850 young people accompanied by 17 priests on the Birmingham youth pilgrimage.
The Salford pilgrims arc led by Bishop Beck and in charge of the 62 sick the largest number that could be taken, is Fr. Joseph Chew. of Elton, Bury.
Archbishop Cirimshaw who is leading the Birmingham pilgrims leaves to-day (Friday) and will join his pilgrims in Lourdes. The Birmingham Youth section is led by Bishop Bright, auxiliary Bishop of the diocese. Also with this section is Fr. P. Corrigan. diocesan youth organiser from Soli House. Stratford
The solemn opening of the Birmingham pilgrimages will take place on Saturday morning when Archbishop Grimshaw will celebrate Mass at the Grotto.
on Sunday, Bishop Bright will sing Pontifical High Mass in the Rosary Basilica. The choir will consist of priests of the pilgrimage, arid the English pilgrims will sing the Common of the Mass. The Archbishop will sing Mass at midnight on Sunday.
The Birmingham pilgrims will arrive back in England on Friday, August 8.
Preaching to the Salford pilgrims on Sunday, in the Cathedral, the new Vicar General, Mgr. Anthony McNulty, asked them to be " real ambassadors of the diocese and the parish to which you belong. You will have a miracle of grace if you go with the right disposition," he said. He warned them not to expect to see any physical miracles " but most certainly you will see miracles of the soul."
PREPARATION FOR EASTER STUDIED
THE purpose of the ninth Italian
National Liturgical Study Week, which met at Camaldoli last week, was not "to formulate concrete proposals and programmes, which come within the competence of the regular teaching authority of the Church, but to thoroughly examine the documents of that same teaching authority to understand their meaning.' stated a letter signed by Mgr, Dell' Acquit Vatican Substitute Secretary of State, and written on behalf of the Pope.
The meeting, opened by Cardinal Lercaro. Archbishop of Bologna, was devoted to a study of the en clical Mediator Dei. Particular emphasis was given to "Easter preparation" and Easter Vigil rites. Among the conclusions reached was one which stressed the de-sirability of the practice of community prayer as a Lenten devotion and a revival of the Lenten stations "in the measure and form indicated by local conditions and possibilities". The meeting also called for greater emphasis during Lent on instructions with a Biblical basis, "which is more in keeping with the liturgical meaning of Lenten preaching".
Suicides : 'No conclusion yet
Mr. R. A. Butler. the Home
Secretary. has not set reached a conclusion on the desirability of amending the law relating to suicide and attempted suicide, he stated in the House of Commons last week in answer to a question by Mr. Kenneth Robinson. Labour M.P. for St. Pancras, North.
"My study of this question
the problem is largely one of ensuring that those who need care or treatment to prevent them from endangering themselves or others in fact receive it," he added. Later. he pointed out that out of a total of over 5.000 cases of attempted suicide in 1956, proceedings were taken in 613 cases. of which only 6.7 per cent resulted in sentences of imprisonment.