HOW DID GROUP 670 COME ABOUT?
Group 670 is one-year-old, and is the first group to be based in Switzerland. Mike Johnson, our Group Leader, however, is a seasoned helper who have been travelling to Lourdes with Bristol (UK) based group, ‘The Green Machine’ (Group 37). Here is his story and how he came to form Group 670:
“The first year I travelled to Lourdes was a moment of Faith. I’d only just met Steve (the Group Leader of 37); he’d told me that there was a free space. I didn’t have the money to go but it felt like it was the right thing to do. I agreed to go and a week later, completely unbeknown to me at the time of agreeing, a tax rebate was posted through my door amounting to about the same amount required to travel.
I’ve been going every year since, but it’s difficult to put into words the reasons why. Simply, Lourdes feels like the closest place to Heaven on Earth.
I started Group 670 because after traveling with 37 for several years, it dawned on me that I was always returning to a community that knew nothing about HCPT. I had told a lot of friends at Church about Lourdes, but how could I explain HCPT to them without showing it to them?!
I believe that HCPT offers a unique pilgrimage that hugely benefits both children and adults. The true test of a pilgrimage, is if something deep inside of you has changed for the good when you return; I believe this is evidence of your Soul’s encounter with God. In my experience, HCPT pilgrimages pass this test every time.
Probably, I will get out of this new venture: a lot of stress, headaches. Being told off for chasing people on subjects too much! I would fear that the trip may go wrong and I’ll be responsible for a big problem… BUT! Hopefully, the faith that encouraged me to say “Yes” to Steve in 2011 is still pushing me forwards in the right direction.”
Here is a short video of our first ever trip to Lourdes as Group 670 Switzerland, courtesy of Tony, our Deputy Leader. Enjoy!