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Cloyne Lourdes Pilgrimage – Message from Fr. Toby


I wish to let you know that Bishop Crean has appointed Fr. Mark Hehir as Pilgrimage Director for the Cloyne Diocesan Pilgrimage. Every good wish and blessing to Fr. Mark in his new role.

It has been both an honour and a privilege for me to have had the role of Director since 2002. In this context I wish to thank Bishop Crean for his wholehearted support both for me personally and for the Pilgrimage itself.

I am sincerely grateful to Mr. Thomas Conway, President of the Cloyne Lourdes Hospitality, for the level of unreserved dedication and leadership that he brings to the Pilgrimage. I remember with gratitude also Mrs Mary McSweeney (R.I.P.), former President. I will be forever grateful to them both for their friendship and loyalty to me over the years.

There are so many people who make the Pilgrimage possible. So, may I thank again the medical teams, the nurses, the brancardiers, the handmaidens, allwho have always worked so hard to ensure the wellbeing of those at the heart of the Pilgrimage: the assisted pilgrims for whom a trip to Lourdes was often the fulfilment of a dream and always a source of deep spiritual grace.

It was always a source of great joy to see the energy and enthusiasm of the Youth Section. Their commitment was an inspiration for all of us and augers well for the future. We salute you.

I remember with gratitude also the numerous priests who helped fulfil many roles on the Pilgrimage. Theyprovided us with wonderful liturgies which were always inspiring and fulfilling. Heartfelt thanks to all in the ministry of music and song during the Pilgrimages which were always prayerful and uplifting.

Those behind the scenes who work quietly in the background in all sorts of ways: know that your contribution has not gone unnoticed. Nothing is built except on firm foundations, unseen but essential.

My time as Director of the Pilgrimage was, in itself, a sort of personal pilgrimage. It was a time that I found deeply fulfilling and enormously satisfying. For all of you who so enriched my life by your support, know that I will always be grateful. Thank you, one and all for all that you have done.

We ask Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette to continue to intercede for us all.

Fr. Toby

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