AN airborne Armada of more than 300 pilgrims who flew to Lourdes last week for an AllNight Vigil brought this year's total of Lourdes Vigil-keepers to over 1,000 people so far.
Since 1958 more than 15,000 people . have flown to Lourdes from Britain for the All-Night Vigil ceremonies. '
Last week's pilgrimage, the largest Spring group yet. included some parishes making their third or fourth trip. They included groups from Willesden. High Wycombe, Coventry and Harborne (Birmingham) with 55 from Killaloe, Ireland.
Last" weekend brought new records. The first planeloads of pilgrims went from the Plymouth and Lancaster dioceses. Bishop Pearson saw off a group from Preston, and the Abbot of Buckfast provided a chaplain for the group which left Exeter.
Mgr. Howell, Vicar General of Brentwood, has organised a pilgrimage of 40; two converts in Stevenage. Herts. visited 400 houses to raise funds to send more sick and other deserving cases to Lourdes.
Student teachers of Digby
Stuart College have, with hard work and 6d. donations has raised over £2,300 thus providing places for 350 sick and other deserving eases.
Fr. John Ryan, Si., founder in the U.S.A. of the Reparation Society, has had to postpone his planned first Vigil in Lourdes (May 19-20) with a planeload of American pilgrims who were also to have made Vigils at Fatima and lvlonserrat. However. a group from England, led by Fr. R. Fuller. Director of the Reparation Society in this country, will fly to Lourdes as planned. There are still a few vacancies (May 19-20). Details from 3 Oakhill Road, Putney, SW. 15.
Fr. Ryan has already organised three All-Night Vigils in the U.S.
The Vigil Group's film. "They Never Slept", was shown in Lourdes last week by Fr. Slevin for the Bishop of Lourdes, the clergy, the local convents, and the Lourdais who assist the Vigil work.