I look forward to seeing many of you in Lourdes in a few weeks’ time. As we prepare for our Pilgrimage let us pray for one another – and I would ask for the prayers of those who are not able to join us this year. We are blessed in having so many Pilgrims who are willing to take on roles of responsibility in the life of the Pilgrimage, and as some change roles I would like to take this opportunity to thank not only them but everyone who works so hard to make the Pilgrimage happen.
Since 2012, the Honorary Presidents of the Ampleforth Hospitalité have been Anne Tuomey and Dr Robert Blake-James. Following the sad death of Anne at home in Dublin last December Robert suggested that this was a timely moment for him to step down from his position; as he does so I would like to thank both him and Anne for the exemplary way in which they have carried out their honorary roles. After consultation, I have appointed in their place Dr Priscilla Noble-Mathews and Richard Murphy for a period of 3 years as the next Honorary Presidents of the Ampleforth Hospitalité.
At the end of our Pilgrimage next month, Fr Luke Beckett comes to the end of his second term of office as Spiritual Adviser to the Ampleforth Hospitalité. I have decided to re-appoint him to this role for a further term of 3 years. As Mike Thoms finalises his hand-over as Director of the Ampleforth Hospitalité to Diana Williams, I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike for the enormous amount of time and effort he has put into being a very successful Director since his appointment in 2011 and I look forward to thanking him personally out in Lourdes during our Pilgrimage next month.
We come to Lourdes in the Year of Mercy, and it is my hope that this year we all both encounter the merciful face of Jesus and learn to show that face to our world.
With my prayers and all best wishes,
Cuthbert Madden OSB
Abbot of Ampleforth