The Anointing of the Sick and Veneration in the presence of the relics of St Bernadette

The Anointing of the Sick was central to Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral this lunchtime (Saturday 8 October) and it felt very much like Lourdes was here.

Many people took the opportunity to receive the Sacrament in the presence of the relics of St Bernadette.

The cathedral was full, with the relics continuing to attract hundreds of people who wish to visit and venerate Bernadette of Lourdes.

Bishop Stephen Wright was the Principal Celebrant at the Mass, which was concelebrated by several other clergy, including retired Bishop David McGough.

The Oil of the Sick was blessed and used during the Mass, with members of the Birmingham Lourdes Hospitalite assisting clergy.

It was wonderful to see our Diocesan Mother Church pretty much full to capacity after two very difficult years where gatherings have been subject to restriction.

The atmosphere may have been prayerful and respectful, but the sense of great joy and devotion was evident.

Many have travelled from across the Archdiocese to see the relics and participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and many more will do so over the next few days. A large number are also accepting the invitation to take the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

To have the relics of St Bernadette here in the Archdiocese of Birmingham is a great honour and all are encouraged to visit them if they can.

Veneration continues at the cathedral this afternoon (Sat) before Mass and farewell at 6pm.

The relics then travel to Our Lady of Lourdes in Hednesford, home of the Diocesan Shrine, on Saturday night for veneration and prayers. On Sunday, in the Grotto, there will be veneration and Mass at 4pm.

The relics then move onto the Immaculate Conception in Bicester on Sunday night for veneration, a candlelight procession and Mass.

On Monday there is a live streamed Rosary to all Catholic schools with Archbishop Bernard Longley and a Mass at 1pm.

Full timetable

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