At the beginning of September, a group of our 6th Year students – Georgina Banim, Mollie O’Kelly, Sarah Holmes and Elizabeth Kennedy -travelled to Lourdes as part of a 5 day long pilgrimage, accompanied by their religion teacher, Jana. The students took part in helping the sick during their stay and prayed for the Teresian School Community at the Grotto of our Lady.
Here are the students’ reflections on the trip:
The 7th of September was a particularly busy day for all the blue shirts. We started our day off as usual, by going to our jobs in the morning, for us, that meant Reception and Hotel Support. After the morning shift, we reported to St. Bernadette’s Church, ready for our duty – handing out and collecting the mass leaflets. This was a particularly special event as it was the mass with the Anointing of the Sick, given by the Archbishop. After we’d finished distributing the leaflets, we sat at the back of the mass to witness this unique experience. The singing was amazing, but the stand out performance was their rendition of Ave Maria.
After the mass, we made it back to the Accueil before the V.I.P.s (Very Important Pilgrims!), to make sure we could help those getting out of their voitures. This was a quiet period in reception though, as thanks to the sunny weather afternoon tea could be brought outside. Afternoon tea was a great time to interact and get to know the pilgrims a bit better, so we all made sure to put on some sun cream and get out and chat to someone we hadn’t met before. We were fortunate to meet one pilgrim, in particular, Peter. We spoke to him about his busy and exciting life as a fish merchant in Dublin, as well as hearing great stories about his wife and children. Before we knew it, Afternoon Tea was over, and we walked with Peter back to his room. He told us about his favourite films and actors, like Alec Guinness in ‘The Ladykillers’, and then we promised we’d be back to talk later.
Later that evening, we had the much-awaited past pupils dinner. We had a lovely meal by the river with the past pupils. We heard of their own experiences in Lourdes over the years. They spoke of how each year was completely different and brought them new and exciting encounters and opportunities. Their stories encouraged us all to consider finding time to come back to Lourdes. We also all recounted on old school memories, of which some of us had shared. They reminisced on their past school days and spoke of their fondest memories they had at our school.
As we finished our meal, the past pupils all headed to a medal ceremony in which some of them were receiving medals for their service. Meanwhile, we headed off to a nearby hotel and gathered with the rest of the blue shirts for a sing-song. This was by far one of the highlights of the trip with all of us gathering around a piano, arms around one another, we all sang at the top of our lungs. We all sung so loud. I think a few of us may have lost our voices! That evening we headed back to the hotel absolutely wrecked after a long day of fun. Looking forward to the following days, we headed straight to bed.