France, 13th-20th July 2003
"Act like the children of light, like rays of the one and only sun of truth, Jesus Christ: that your faith, held in common, may have its centre in His Heart. United amongst yourselves by holy charity, constitute one, single light."
Père Marie-Joseph Le Guillou OP
The theme of our pilgrimage is the Love of God, as expressed in the revelation of the Sacred Heart, and the overflowing love of his saints for Him and for their neighbour, perfectly expressed in the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. This union of hearts is the source of those streams of grace which pour from Our Lady's hands, as represented after the visions of St. Catherine Labouré in the Rue du Bac. The natural and cultural beauty which we take in during the pilgrimage spectacular architecture, statues, mosaics and paintings, glorious countryside and flowering gardens is a foretaste of the splendours that await us in the Garden of Paradise, where we will be united once and for all with Our Lord and his saints.
On the first day we will travel by Eurostar to Paris, continuing from there by coach to Burgundy, where we will stay at Vézelay, site of the great Romanesque Basilica which shelters the relics of St Mary Magdalene. The following day we will continue on our journey to Paray-le-Monial, site of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. After staying overnight and visiting the chapel of St. Claude Colombière, we will make our way back via Nevers, burial site of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the Benedictine Abbey of Fleury, where St. Joan of Arc made a pilgrimage in thanksgiving for the liberation of Orleans.
The following day we will continue to Chartres where we will have a tour of the statues and carvings, before ending up at the Prieuré de Béthanie, a quiet country retreat house run by the same order who serve the Sacred Heart in Paris, the Benedictines of the Sacré Coeur of Montmartre. There we will have a quiet day of recollection, rest and recreation, preparing for the culmination of our pilgrimage. On the Friday, we will visit Monetís gardens at Giverny nearby, before returning to Paris. Friday night will represent the high point of the pilgrimage, for the Rose Round has been invited to undertake the night-long watch before the Blessed Sacrament in the basilica. The girls will take it in turns to watch for an hour or so, in groups of three or four, with an adult alongside them, in relays, throughout the night. This is facilitated by the fact that the guest house communicates directly with the basilica, for precisely this purpose.
Whilst in Paris, we will visit the chapel of the Miraculous Medal, and learn about St. Catherine Labouré, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Vincent de Paul. We will also go to Notre Dame des Victoires, visited by St. Thérèse at the start of her own pilgrimage before she entered Carmel.
As with our last pilgrimage, there will be a good balance of prayer, instruction and fun. There will be a special Mass each day, at which the girls are invited to contribute their musical gifts, their reading talent and their intercessory prayer. There will be a minimum of one qualified and vetted adult for every five children on the pilgrimage. Travel will be by train and then privately hired coach.
The cost of the pilgrimage will be £295.00 for the week, including all travel (apart from travel to and from Waterloo, our starting point), accommodation, meals and excursions, excluding insurance. If you would like your daughter or daughters to come, but cannot afford the full fare, the Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture has established some bursaries for this purpose. Please contact Léonie Caldecott, by email , or by telephone 01865 522 154, for more details.
"What I long to see taking place in you is the unself-consciousness and spontaneous growth of love for Jesus, who is worthy of all our adoration. That Jesus whom in reality you love so much, but with whom you do not yet know how to be completely free and at ease. When you are able to say to yourself, Jesus is to be loved without reserve, no matter what I am or am not, then you will have the right to love Him always in your heart, even if you do not always succeed in showing that love by your actions. This is living in the truth."
Abbé de Tourville