DON’T FORGET

Today, Marie Butler Mc Nally, family, and friends are organising a BIG coffee morning at the beautiful 108 Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9, from 11am to 3pm, for Pádraig.

This morning, you won’t find hotter tea, better coffee, and sweeter cakes anywhere in town!

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Today was a big day. Turns out that on a pilgrimage, at least not one organised by Germans, you start getting those who need help ready at 6.15am. Even if you go to bed early, 6.15 is early.

There was mass in the morning, a sacrament procession in the afternoon, and a candlelight procession in the evening, starting at 9pm. It’s just turning midnight (Germany have ‘0’ points in the European Song Contest hosted by Conchita Wurst in Vienna) and I am about to collapse into bed.

There was an Irish priest asking on of the people in charge of the Order of Malta who are looking after Pádraig whether there was a Pádraig in their group because he had heard about him on Joe Duffy. Another Irish priest came up to me in the big underground basilica and wished Pádraig and us all the best. I had never met him in my life.

Lourdes is a strange place in many ways. Very different from anything you’d have ever experienced in your life. On the one hand there are the holy sites, all very well organised, on the other there are loads of pubs and shops who are, obviously, making a living on the back of the holy sites and the pilgrims.

Tonight, there were tens of thousands of people processing into the night in a candle-lit walk, singing and praying in many, many different languages.

I must be honest and will say that I do not like organised movements very much, including religion. I prefer something more individual and responding to my desire for spirituality. Lourdes, despite being a huge religious operation, has that. It takes a while to discover. Maybe you need a bit of time to get used to it.

I am still struggling with internet connections and time – but I promise, to write a bit longer and in more detail. I also promise to respond to the comments people posted.

For now, I’ll have to go to bed. It’s turning midnight and I’ll have to be back with Pádraig at 6.15…