“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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REPORT - BIRMINGHAM LOURDES REUNION 2012

The Lourdes Reunion at the Birmingham Oratory on Saturday was a great success, some 40 Malades attended the Mass and received the graces of the Sacrament of Annointing of the Sick. Many had travelled long distances in the snow and ice.  It was lovely that this year the Saturday fell on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the World Day of the Sick, so we joined millions around the world in our devotions.

The cold did not deter faithful members of the Order either, some 30 dames and knights attended in choir.

Mass was celebrated by Father Anthony Talbot, who has recently returned to England, a cousin of Lord and Lady Talbot of Malahide, our beloved Vice-President, both of whom were present. Father Talbot preached a very moving "spiritual pilgrimage" to Lourdes, taking his pilgrims gently around the shrine and through the many means of grace which it affords.

We were also joined by the Companions, who shared our celebration of Our Lady's feast as 'Companions' Day' this year. As the Saturday morning every week is the Newman Shrine pilgrims' Mass, there were also many visitors and parishioners present in a pretty full church, many of whom were also able to come up for the Sacrament of Anointing.
Our Lords the Sick watching hopefully as Lady Talbot presides over the tombola
Following Mass the Malades and members of the Order had the most splendid buffet lunch, provided by a large team of volunteers, in the Bl John Henry Newman Museum at the Oratory. Lunch was followed by a talk given by Lady Talbot on the Apparitions at Lourdes, and as ever by a charity auction and tombola. Many happy faces left with wonderful prizes.

Next year's Reunion is planned to be a week or so later, to avoid half-term, allowing more people to  attend, and hopefully have some warmer weather.

Our gratitude goes to all the many helpers who made this such a wonderful day, but specially this year we must thank Major Arbuthnot, for his excellent organisation in his first year in this role, and for his magnificent baked ham!

Fra' Duncan Gallie, Chancellor of the Grand Priory, who has organised this day for the past ten years, was much missed by everyone, as he is away in Rome.

We are extremely grateful to the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory for their truly gracious welcome. 

Our main thanks must, as ever, go to our Lords the Sick.

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