Lourdes 2023 - Reunion Mass

Following a  wonderful pilgrimage to Lourdes last month, please join us for the Lourdes Reunion Mass at 3:00pm on Sunday 27 August in St Cuthbert’s, 104 Slateford Road, EH14 1PT.

This will be a great opportunity to pray together in thanksgiving for the pilgrimage and to catch up with everyone.

GALLERY: Lourdes Pilgrimage 2023

Here are some images from the Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

A statement from the Pilgrimage Committee said: "Our Pilgrimage to Lourdes was truly wonderful, filled with many uplifting spiritual experiences, inspiring and reflective music, prayerful liturgies, and a chance to reunite with old friends and make new ones!"

From left: Canon James Tracey, Mgr Allan Chambers, Fr Martin Eckersley; Fr Jeremy Milne, Canon Jeremy Bath.





Mass of welcome for the Lourdes Pilgrimage

A Mass for those attending the Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes this summer. However, all are welcome to attend

WATCH: Join us in Lourdes this summer

Everyone is warmly invited to visit Lourdes on the Archdiocesan pilgrimage from 7-14 July 2023.

Visit www.edinburgh-lourdes.com for full details. Assisted pilgrims are particularly welcome - you will be cared for 24/7 in the dedicated Accuiel Saint Frai by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and support workers.

All medical conditions can be accommodated and insurance is included. Financial assistance may be available. Email edinburghlourdes@gmail.com

WATCH: Faith and fun at HCPT Lourdes pilgrimage

Archbishop Leo Cushley has joined hundreds of children in Lourdes as part of HCPT’s Easter Pilgrimage.

Nearly 2,500 people from across the UK, including disabled and disadvantaged children, are at the pilgrimage which includes groups from Edinburgh and Fife.

Archbishop Cushley, the charity's president, said: "People from across the world visit Lourdes with HCPT because they have seen the way they love and look after children.

"The pilgrimage gives children a holiday as well as an experience of Christ's love for them.

"Volunteers set aside a lot of time, effort, energy and love for children with special needs. It's very moving and it's very fun.

"I'm honoured to be the HCPT president and pleased to have the chance to express profound gratitide for the work it does."

Also at the pilgrimage is Fr Jamie Boyle of St Mary's Parish in Stirling.

HCPT (Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust) is a charity registered in England & Wales and in Scotland. Its first Easter pilgrimage was back in 1956.

Stay in touch with the pilgrimage by following HCPT on Facebook or visit the website.

Lourdes 2023: Join us this summer!

Join us for the annual Archdiocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, which takes place 7-14 July 2023.

Check out the below video (also on YouTube) and visit www.edinburgh-lourdes.com for all the details you need. We look forward to welcoming you!

Register YOUR interest for life-enhancing Lourdes pilgrimage

If you want to take part in a life-enhancing Pilgrimage to the holy site of Lourdes in France this summer, let the organisers know!

The Pilgrimage Committee is appealing for potential pilgrims to register their interest by filling out this online form.

Dr Monica Bald, Chief Pilgrimage Doctor, said: "We are trying to make a decision regarding our commitment to travelling to Lourdes this year.

"Rather than asking people to apply at this point, we are asking Pilgrims to ‘Express an Interest’ to help us make an informed decision.


She added: "It is impossible for us to make any travel completely risk free and we cannot guarantee a COVID-19 free Pilgrimage. However, we hope to reduce and mitigate this risk as much as possible as we learn to more forward and ‘Live with COVID’.

"Although we know that the Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage will feel very different to any previous Pilgrimages, we are confident that we will be guided by Our Lady of Lourdes in our desire to answer her call to travel in Pilgrimage.

Dr Bald's letter can be read at the Edinburgh Lourdes website, which also includes a Q&A and other details about the pilgrimage.


Event: Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage begins Friday

The Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage begins this Friday. The week-long event includes Talks and reflections, a virtual Walking Tour, Rosary and Stations of the Cross and more.

There will be Mass throughout the week celebrated by Fr Jeremy Milne, Fr Andrew Garden, Fr Paul Lee, Fr Alex Davie and Archbishop Cushley. You can watch it all on YouTube at bit.ly/ArchLourdes2021

Check out the full programme at www.edinburgh-lourdes.com. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

OBITUARY: Mgr Tony Duffy

The outpouring of tributes made following the death of Mgr Anthony Canon Duffy did not come as a surprise to his family.

Such is the memory of the man they said “worked, lived and breathed solely for the good of others”.

That was demonstrated in his dedication to Lourdes; he was an energetic and welcoming presence for pilgrims and attended the shrine every year, save for two occasions.

In 1975, Pope Paul VI proclaimed a Holy Year, with special indulgences granted for those who journeyed to Rome. While that meant no trip to France, he and a group of volunteers arranged a mini ‘Lourdes at Home’, taking a group of sick and disabled people down to St Andrew’s College in Drygrange. The event also saw Bishop James Monaghan attend. Mgr Duffy was prevented from attending in 2020 due to travel restrictions, following the coronavirus pandemic.

Mgr Duffy became pilgrimage director for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh in 1983, a role he continued with compassion and good humour until his death.

He would join volunteers in helping transport the ill and disabled on a jumbulance, and from 1986 to 1998 he was the chaplain to the Association of the British Lourdes Pilgrimage Hospitalites (ABLPH), a forum for the many groups involved in organising pilgrimages. He enjoyed representing the Archdiocese at its annual meetings in Lourdes each February.

The Edinburgh Hospitalité and Pilgrimage Committees said: “For the Lourdes community, the sense of loss is profound as Fr Tony was our Pilgrimage Director for many years.”

The day following his death, a candle was lit at the shrine in his memory.

Early life

Anthony Leonard Duffy was born in Edinburgh on 27 May 1947 to Harry and Lilian Duffy and was baptised at Sacred Heart Church in Lauriston.

He was an only child and grew up in a tenement in the Grassmarket area of the city, attending nearby St Ignatius Primary School in Tollcross then Holy Cross Academy. He was heavily involved in the Scouts at St Patrick’s Church in the Cowgate, and the Friday night gatherings would lead to lifelong friendships and a likely spiritual spur leading him on the path to priesthood.

One such friendship was with Fr Ian Laurenson OFM, a chaplain to the scouts. Mgr Duffy, along with fellow Edinburgh-based priest and former scout Gerry Hand, would later visit Fr Laurenson in South Africa just before his death in 2012.

Mgr Duffy left school in fifth year and found work with the Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh.

He quit this job after two years to test his vocation to the priesthood and was accepted into the seminary at St Andrew's College in 1967.

He was a good footballer and enjoyed playing for the seminary team. As a keen singer he was part of a folk group with fellow seminarians called ‘The Coblers’ who would play for local community groups throughout the Borders. As it was the ‘swinging sixties’, his mother made flower pattern ties for the group to wear while performing.

After six years of study, he was ordained by Cardinal Gordon Gray at the Sacred Heart Church in 1973.


He spent time ministering at St Patrick's in Kilsyth and had a first stint at St Cuthbert's, Slateford (1973-1979). He then served at St Paul's Edinburgh (1979-1984) followed by a year at The Sacred Heart & St Anthony (1984) in Armadale.

In 1984 he was appointed parish priest at St Mary Magdalene's in Bingham, Edinburgh, where he ministered for five years.

He served as Treasurer for the Archdiocese for over 30 years and was a canon of the Metropolitan Chapter. Until his death was parish priest at both St Cuthbert's in Slateford, which he had served since 1989, and Our Lady, Mother of the Church, in Currie, since 1998. Illness in the weeks before his death meant he had to step back from the role. In recent years he was the Catholic Church’s representative on the City of Edinburgh Council’s Education, Children and Families Committee.

He served as a chaplain for St Cuthbert’s Primary School and St Augustine’s High School for many years.

The pile of cards in his hospital room at the Western General from primary pupils demonstrated the fondness with which he was held (hospital staff said his room was “filled with love”).

Following his death, a statement from St Augustine’s said: “He was a huge presence for us and very happy to be part of our school community.

“He loved his time here, pinching chips at lunchtime, telling you your tie was on upside down and being there for us when we needed him.”

He would take part in school ski trips and is remembered for keeping company any pupils who were unable to ski.

In 1984 he drove a minibus to Rome for pupils, camping en route, when they had an audience with the Pope. A former pupil said: “He knew exactly how to handle us. He never insisted that we attend any of the services he held in his tent. I respected him so much for that.”

Another former pupil, Judith Ralston, now a BBC weather presenter, credited Mgr Duffy with helping her become an opera singer: “This lovely man was with me all the way through my formative years. He took me to my first opera, the one that inspired me to become an opera singer.” Mgr Duffy himself was no slouch when it came to singing and at one time was a member of the Archdiocesan Cathedral Choir and the Edinburgh Festival Choir.

'True vocation'

The passing of Mgr Tony will most profoundly be felt by his family. They said: “Tony was the first port of call for family baptisms, marriages and funerals. He had no time for fuss or undue ceremony, because he didn't need it, as his liturgies demonstrated.

“In the priesthood he quite literally found his true vocation; and the grace of ordination fulfilled his natural talents.

“An only child himself, he revelled in his wider family particularly his nephews and nieces as they grew to adulthood and had their own families. He was a favourite uncle, and they will miss him enormously. As do we all.”

For a man who loved social interaction and ministering to people, the pastoral constraints of lockdown, which restricted visits to care homes and closed schools, chafed with him before illness took over.

He died peacefully at the Western General in the early hours of Wednesday 12 May 2021 fortified by the rites of Holy Church. He was 73. His funeral took place at St Cuthbert’s on Tuesday 25 May and his final resting place is with his mother and father at the city’s Mount Vernon Catholic Cemetery.

With attendance restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, it meant far fewer people were at the funeral than would be expected for a man who made a profound and positive impact in the Archdiocese and in Lourdes.

Mgr Anthony Canon Duffy, 27 May 1947 – 12 May 2021



Pilgrim's delight after indulgence idea is granted by Vatican

A Lourdes pilgrim was delighted when her idea to request a plenary indulgence for those attending a virtual pilgrimage was granted by the Vatican.

Monica Bald (main image, second from right, with some of her fellow organisers), who has been going to Lourdes for 25 years, contacted the Archdiocese last week with the request ahead of the online event which takes place from Friday 10th to Friday 17th July.

She is pictured main image, second from right, with some of the committee who have together organised the pilgrimage.

She said: "My mum was on the internet and found that a diocese in North America had been granted a similar plenary indulgence.

"I thought that if we were able to ask for that it would be something wonderful. It would also give people a bit of hope, especially for those who have been shielding or unable to get out during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Archbishop Cushley heard about Monica's idea and immediately petitioned the Holy Father's office. On Tuesday, he received a decree granting a plenary indulgence for those attending the pilgrimage (below).

Monica, a consultant physician and the pilgrimage's lead doctor since 2008, added: "We didn't really think there would be enough time to get this organised as we'd only spoken about it last Tuesday. So we're delighted and excited to share it with people in our diocese who want to come on our virtual Lourdes pilgrimage.

"I'm unaware of any other diocese in Scotland who are providing a virtual pilgrimage so hopefully this is something not only for our own Archdiocese to participate in but also all of the people in Scotland."

Plenary Indulgence

To be granted the plenary indulgence the decree states that pilgrims must

An indulgence is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."(CCC 1471) 

In his petition, Archbishop Cushley said: "Since many of the faithful and the sick are disappointed not to travel to Lourdes this year, I know that such a spiritual gift from the Church would be a great consolation to them."

The Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage 2020 takes place online from Friday 10th to Friday 17th July. Visit the group's Facebook page or website www.edinburgh-lourdes.com