Shrines (and maybe wines? ..)

On Monday 5 November we invite you to the preliminary meeting in preparation for our 2019 September Pilgrimage. Our destination is the Burgundy region of France. Why? Yes, OK it is a top wine area of course, but Burgundy and its surrounds are also home to many important Christian sites.

The plan is to travel on Monday 9 September by ferry and coach (no flying), returning the following Monday. We will stay overnight at Chartres in both directions, with Mass and a visit of course to its world famous cathedral, one of the most beautiful in the world. Then travelling on via Nevers, with Mass at the shrine and incorrupt body of St Bernadette, we will stay 5 nights in or near the Burgundian town of Macon. From there we will visit Paray-le-Monial, origin and centre of devotion to the Sacred Heart, Taize ecumenical retreat centre, made famous by its music, and situated close to Cluny, site of one of the greatest abbeys of the Middle Ages.

North of Macon we’ll journey to Dijon, capital of Burgundy – home of the Palace of the Dukes (and home of mustard too) – and Beaune, the real capital of the Burgundy wine region, where we may just stop a while… South of Macon, at Ars we will celebrate Mass at the shrine of St John Vianney, patron of parish clergy, visiting his preserved presbytery, and then move on to the nearby incredibly elaborate Brou Church at Bourg-en-Bress.

Lastly we will visit bustling Lyon, second or third city of France (depending on your score). Founded by the Romans in BC 43, it has always been a key location through history, where the Rhone and Saone rivers join. Buildings of all periods from Roman remains to modern skyscrapers via everything in between – it is a world-famous capital of cuisine. Here we hope to have Mass at the hilltop shrine of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, with a tour of the city – and time for shopping!

It is not our intention to visit Paris or Lourdes on this trip, as there are many other ways to visit those beautiful places. Rather we offer you the opportunity to explore lesser know shrines and sites of France, with Billy Gill our gifted leader / organizer as usual.

Want to know more? We meet Monday 5 November 7.30pm at St Brigid’s Hall.

Fr Matthew