Friday, 5 August 2011

How to organise a successful pilgrimage!

Twelve easy steps....

1. Start the planning process at least 12 months in advance
         2. Gather a group of like minded people about you (not a 

          3. Clear the ground and observe all the protocols with your
             Bishop and the Parish Priest responsible for the pilgrimage 

         4. Produce a computerised database of all target parishes (ie all
             in your Diocese), specialist groups such as Legion of Mary,
             Catholic Mothers, SVP., Knights of St Columba (us) and then
             mail or email them with details PLUS an invitation to attend.

         5. Print off posters and leaflets inviting groups and individuals to
             attend - stress that they do not have to be members of your
             group to join the pilgrimage. Then send them out every two
             months to your database. Arrange a choir and altar servers
             for the day. Arrange for a full colour A4 insert sheet in
             whatever periodicals are at your disposal.

         6. Create a blog called "The XYZ 2012 Pilgrimage" and keep it
             constantly updated with information including local
             accommodation, bus/rail links, Catholic history of the
             region etc.

        7. Ask the Bishop for support (financially, spiritually and
            physically in galvanising lay groups who may respond more 
            readily to the Bishop than to your group).

       8. Personally contact a number of priests (the more the merrier)
           and invite them to be part of the choir on the sanctuary. Ask a
           prominent priest to give sermon or address on the day.

       9. Issue a regular series of press releases to the Catholic press
           and to local, regional and, even, on occasions, national media.

       10. Contact all religious orders in your Diocese or region and   
             invite them to send groups to be part of the Blessed
             Sacrament  Procession of Honour. Do the same with   
             Catholic troops of Guides, Scouts etc but invite them to form 
             the Guard of Honour.

       11. Arrange the programme so that not only is there a logical
             sequence but also a number of 'highlights' to the day eg 
             'Crowning of Our Lord/Our Lady' as appropriate, Procession,
             Rosary etc.
             Also, most importantly, allow for those who normally fast for 3
             hours before Holy Communion, to be accommodated in the

       12. Organise a series of local events such as parish walks to the
             pilgrimage point, Rosary processions through the town/village,
             local prominent Catholics  to participate,  refreshments
             and....above all else....ask your Bishop to open the pilgrimage
             with his actual blessing on the day.

                                  Enjoy a successful Pilgrimage!

NB - the above list is not exhaustive


  1. Perhaps step zero is to organise regular prayers for the spiritual success of the pilgrimage from the day it is conceived to the day it happens...

  2. Or, be lazy like me and join a pilgrimage someone else planned.