BY Martin Dunlop | April 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scots lead the way for HCPT Trust

— Scotland honoured in its 40th anniversary year with leading role in Lourdes pilgrimage

You are God’s Work of Art was the message Scottish pilgrims leading the way at the annual HCPT Lourdes pilgrimage during Holy Week took with them.

It was the theme for this year’s 40th anniversary of the first HCPT pilgrimage from Scotland. To mark the occasion, the Scottish region of the pilgrimage trust prepared and led the main liturgies throughout the pilgrimage week this year.

For the past 57 years, Easter Week has seen HCPT groups from many countries gather in Lourdes, for what has become the biggest annual children’s pilgrimage to the French town made famous for the Marian Apparitions.

This year more than 4300 pilgrims, including more than 1500 children with special needs, joined the HCPT pilgrimage.

Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles represented the Scottish bishops at the HCPT pilgrimage and spoke of his joy at participating in the events.

“It was a wonderful week and a great testimony to all those who support HCPT in Scotland and help bring so many children to Lourdes each year,” Bishop Toal said. The bishop added that he had the privilege of being the main celebrant and preacher at the main Trust Mass, which was celebrated on the Thursday of Easter Week (April 12) at the Underground Basilica, a Mass he described as a ‘joyous and colourful celebration.’

Scottish priests Fr Martin Chambers, St Matthew’s, Kilmarnock, Fr Raymond Breslin, St Cadoc’s, Halfway, and Fr Stuart Parkes, St Edward’s, Airdrie, were also involved in preparing the Liturgy for the Trust Mass, which was concelebrated by English, Welsh and Irish bishops and the hundreds of HCPT groups that had chaplains present on the pilgrimage.

Scottish Pilgrims also led a Blessed Sacrament Procession—which was moved into the Basilica due to the wet weather—prayers and the Blessing of the Sick throughout the week.

—To find out more about the Pilgrimage Trust, visit


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