I have had the immense privilege of leading 28 pilgrimages to Lourdes.
Most of those happened when I was still part of the RC apparatus.
But I’ve had several since I parted ways with the Roman Empire Mk 11.
I love Lourdes and God and Our Lady have always looked after ne there.
As a very young priest I had the opportunity of celebrating the daily Mass in English as thete were no bishops there and the older priests were too nervous to be the main celebrant.
Apart from leading my own pilgrimage I always tried to spend 6 hours a day in the English confessional.
In the confessional I saw hundreds of little spiritual and emotional “miracles”. People left burdens in Lourdes they had carried for years or decades.
OUR LADY PROMOTES ME AS A BISHOP.
On one of those pilgrimages since my departure from the empire, I led a pilgrimage to Lourdes.
I was very careful not to offend or push myself on anyone.
One day we attended the afternoon Blessing of the Sick in the massive underground basilica.
I simply took my place among the laity with my pilgrims.
The sacristan came out and asked me to move to the clergy section and I did.
Then the sacristan came back out and said:/”Thete is only onenother bishop here yoday – a French bishop. He asks that you join him in the sacristy for the Blessing of the Sick. I went.
Thank God he could not speak English and I could not speak French. It avoided an awkward conversation 😇
He and I then proceeded to.preside over the formal Lourdes afternoon Blessing of the Sick.
It was not only witnessed in the basilica but was also broadcast all over screens in Lourdes.
It happened that the Diocese of Ferns were in Lourdes being led by Bishop Eamon Walsh.
Walsh and the Ferns clergy were furious and reported the incident to the local bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes.
As a result my party and I were banned from every RC property in Lourdes.
But I was very pleased to have my approval as a bishop from Our Lady
We were quite happy afterwards to have our Masses in a hotel function room.
I was forbidden to enter the grotto area and my photograph was circulated to all the Lourdes security officers.
But I could access God and Our Lady at least as easily in my hotel as I could at the grotto.
I was very pleased to see Our Lady getting one over on the hierarchs and clerics who I’m sure she regards as being like the Pharisees who rejected and tortured her own Son.
Many of the current hierarchs and clerics are the Neo Pharisees 😪