Friday, 5 August 2011
How to organise a successful pilgrimage!
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
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,
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