Six Rhetoric students travelled to Lourdes in early September. They were accompanied by Mr. Francis Marron, Ms. Siobhan Barry and gap student James Tooth. Travelling as pilgrims with the annual Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage, the group departed for France on the morning of September 7th to spend five days working to meet the needs of older pilgrims, whilst also immersing themselves in the pilgrimage experience of Lourdes. The group were working as helpers to sick or elderly pilgrims to ensure that their experience was both spiritual and enjoyable. The students were a credit to themselves and to their school as they worked tirelessly each day from early morning until night. Together with students from over twenty other schools, the Rhetoric boys shared practical duties in the hospital wards whilst they were also always available to push wheelchairs or ‘Voitures’ throughout processions or to Eucharistic Celebrations. There is no doubt that the group returned to Ireland exhausted and yet also reinvigorated; by the faith and friendship they shared with other pilgrims, by the profound fulfilment of making a contribution towards the well-being of others and by the spirit of generosity of heart that makes the Lourdes Pilgrimage an experience to be treasured.
The Rhetoric students who travelled to Lourdes:
John Francis Martin
by Mr. Francis Marron, photographs by Ms. Siobhan Barry