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Catholic Voice
placeholder May2: Reflections
on the Pilgrimage

May3: Will we let
God change us

May4: A lesson
from Lourdes

May5: 'Do this
in memory of Me'

May6: Parish church
in Lourdes


May 6, 2013:
Parish church in Lourdes

Today we visited and celebrated Mass in the parish church of Lourdes. Bishop Matthew Clark celebrated the Mass and commented that there is very little in this church that Bernadette would recognize. The magnificent structure we visited was built after Bernadette left Lourdes, never to return again.

St. Bernadette Soubirous is pictured in this undated photo provided by the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France.
courtesy of Sanctuaries
of Our Lady of Lourdes

However there is one thing in the church that was preserved, and Bernadette would recognize since she would have seen it every time she went to church. The baptismal font from the original church and the one where Bernadette was herself baptized is in this structure.

The bishop commented that millions of pilgrims come to Lourdes to bathe or wash in the spring that miraculously came forth after Bernadette was told by our Blessed Lady to dig in the ground near the grotto. But there is another spring of water that is even more miraculous! The water in which we were baptized! This water gave us eternal life. This water opened for us the sacramental life of the church. This water washed away original sin.

During the Easter season we are often sprinkled with the baptismal water. This serves as a reminder of the great gift of faith that we received at our baptism. We all could be more grateful for this heavenly gift. We could show that gratitude by practicing that faith with greater intensity and fervor as well as giving witness to it by the way we live our lives.

(Father Mockel is vicar general of the Diocese of Oakland.)

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