This morning was slightly overcast, but with the promise of bright
sunshine to come. We found the new Glorious Cross chapel without any
difficulty... and then rather wished we hadn't bothered, as it
resembled a classroom.
Jonathan, our senior MC, had packed most of Blackfen's sacristy, and
the use of two proper candles immediately upped the reverence quotient
(in my humble opinion - but then again, some of you may prefer the
asymmetrical, faux candle effect) !
Fr. Charles said the Mass, and Fr. Tim provided a few catechetical reflections.
Afterwards I went to register our group with the Information bureau,
pay a donation for the group, collect our ticket for the afternoon Way
of the Cross, and meet up with our guide for the tour of Lourdes. This
provided the first little hiccough... there wasn't a spare guide, as
ours had reported sick or something. No possibility of a tour until
Thursday. Alas, Thursday is one of our solemn High Masses in the
Parish church. Then they asked if we minded joining up with another
group. We didn't, so everything was back on course. I delivered the
members of our group to the guide (I have done the tour many times
before, and my ankle was playing up, so I decided the hilly town walk
was not a good idea) and then went for a cup of hot chocolate.
Pausing to drop some stuff in my hotel room, I then wandered back down
to the Grotto for some personal prayer time. I also took a few photos.
The sight of me taking photos I'm the Rosary Basilica brought all
sorts of people over to ask me to take photos of themselves, something
I was very happy to do.
Lunch then beckoned: magret de canard, one of my favourite dishes.
I'm now off to the Baths. Hopefully the lunch of roast duck won't make
me sink without trace...