Monday, August 3, 2009

Largest annual event in the archdiocese -- Mission, Aug. 15

What's the largest archdiocesan event of the year? No, it's not the return of The B.C. Catholic from our summer break. It's the annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission, and thousands will be attending from across B.C. and beyond.

This summer's pilgrimage will be Saturday, Aug. 15. The day begins with outdoor confessions at 11 a.m., followed by Mass at 1 p.m. offered by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB.

At 2:30 p.m. there will be a procession up the hill from the Mass site to the grotto, followed by the Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. After that there'll be a picnic.

The apparitions at Lourdes, France, began in 1858. Before his death in 1890 Bishop Louis-Joseph d'Herbomez, OMI, then Bishop of Vancouver but born in France, requested that a grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes be built in Mission. He said the rocky area reminded him of the caverns in Lourdes and was one of his favourite places.

Bishop d'Herbomez's wish was completed in 1892.

It's a magnificent annual family event. Bring water, umbrellas (rain or shine), lawn chairs or blankets, and food and make a great day of it.

Here's how to get there.

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