Gumley House School FCJ

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Lourdes 2024

We had a very successful pilgrimage to Lourdes this year. There were some notable firsts this year.  To begin with we had a combined team of six Year 10 students and 14 Year 12 students.  The presence of the younger students was very positive, and they proved themselves to be very good at working with the elderly and sick pilgrims. 

This was also the first time we joined forces with the pilgrimage charity known as the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes (SOLL).  This is a pilgrimage charity with a long history, and for over a hundred years it has brought sick and elderly pilgrims to Lourdes from across England.  Originally, they had been created by the English bishops to serve the needs of the sick pilgrims from our country, and this was well before most diocese had their own pilgrimage to Lourdes. What was very good for our Gumley team is that the central focus of the SOLL pilgrimage is to serve the needs of the sick and elderly, and this chimed perfectly with why we are involved in going to Lourdes.  On our polo-shirts we have always taken as out motto ‘here to serve’. 

Whilst in Lourdes we worked with two other school groups – St Michael’s in Watford and Holy Family from Leeds.  Between us we cared for about 70 sick and elderly pilgrims who stayed in the Accuiel Notre Dame (located within the domain). We spent the week taking care of these pilgrims, accompanying them to mass each day, the processions, and various pilgrimage liturgies. 

The Gumley team worked long hours and were excellent at caring for the sick and elderly pilgrims.  We were given the special duty of serving lunch each day at the Accuiel.  This involved preparing the dining room, serving food, spending time with the pilgrims and tidying up afterwards. The SOLL leaders were full of praise for the way team Gumley discharged this duty.  They were struck by the willingness of our students to sit with the pilgrims and be good companions.  Throughout the week it was a delight to see our students putting our FCJ values into action.

 On the second to last night, we visited the Grotto as a team and prayed together.  We remembered the whole school community and we placed our school candle.

Well done to all these students who were great helpers in Lourdes:

Anna Morely                                      Hollie O’Gorman       

Elisa Botelho                                      Annabelle Ayensah

Oliver Connelley                                Tadhag Scott

Serafina De Pontes De Frietas.          Patrycia Perz

Ishani Sharma                                     Nicole Sargrist

Anhelina Slobodianyk                        Jemima Stallwood-Braken.

Sylvi Tin Ming Kan                            Mia Young

Eva Lama                                            Ava McCollum

Reanne Ferrao                                    Sophia DelRosario

Rhiana D’Souza                                  Thishani Wickramasuriya

 Whilst in Lourdes our students were accompanied by Ms Henderson, Ms Thornton, our chaplain Martina, and by Dr Whittle.