Ratcliffe (Group 504) Pilgrimage to Lourdes

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I wish to commend the following students for the excellent manner in which they represented Ratcliffe College on the HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes: Harry Bellamy, Harry Brooks, Niamh Delargy, Ben Dexter, Ines Munoz Torre, Emily Newberry, Joe Smith, Lottie Warburton, Matthew Ward and Bea Waters.

Before the pilgrimage started, all students equipped themselves well, attending the HCPT induction day as well as organising and taking part in a number of fundraising initiatives. The students also attended regular meetings at school and even before we set out for Lourdes on Friday 21st July, I felt that there was an excellent group atmosphere. This was to really blossom during the week in Lourdes.

During the week, all students were responsible for caring for pilgrims with illness or disability. The level of assistance which each provided for their fellow pilgrim was outstanding, showing great compassion, dedication and maturity. Helping in Lourdes is a very demanding and tiring task. However, not only did all of the students carry out their responsibilities as required, but all were prepared to use their initiative and willing to do more than necessary.  The students made an excellent contribution to the group as a whole, socialising with all members of the group and always willing to help others. Many of the students read at Mass and took part in the various liturgies during the week. At all times, the students were in high spirits and always put those in their care first.

I have no doubt that each of the students was spiritually enriched during the course of the week. It was a great pleasure and honour to lead this group of students who were all a credit to the College as well as their families.  The students are all keen to visit Lourdes again, and I hope that they will also encourage others to do so next year.  I have also written to the parents of each student to pass on my thanks and commendations.

Mr N. Walsh, Head of Religious Studies