Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday June 23rd. 2013
Spean Bridge: Reader: Eliz Campbell Prayers: Margaret Muncie Euch. Mins; David MacFarlane, Moira Coutts
Roy Bridge: Readers : Richard Sidgwick, Lorna MacGregor. Prayers: Catrina  MacDonald. Euch Mins: Nilda Hawke, Catrina MacDonald, Rory MacDonald.
Rota June 29th. – June 30th.
Our Lady’s Grotto at Lourdes suffers from severe floods
Officials in Lourdes have asked  Pope  Francis to appeal to Catholics all over the world to help restore Our Lady's shrine after the worst floods in a century turned it  into a disaster zone, with tens of thousands of pilgrims unable to visit it for the foreseeable future.  Locals said the shrine's famous grotto now looked like a vision of "the apocalypse". It is closed to the public and  submerged under a metre of mud. Our Lady’s shrine at Lourdes, which draws six million visitors a year, will be in no fit state to open in the coming weeks when high season begins, local officials have warned. The underground chapel, which can hold 25,000 pilgrims, has been completely flooded, as well as smaller chapels. The baths where pilgrims, especially the sick
and disabled, hope for a cure from the Lourdes water,  lie in ruins after being overrun by fierce floodwaters. Only the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has escaped unscathed. "It's catastrophic. We cannot see how we could reopen in acceptable conditions in the weeks to come," Mathias Terrier, the sanctuary's spokesman, told the Press "We cannot lie about the situation. Everything is broken, everything is destroyed. We do not know what to do." The town has only just recovered from similar floods which caused more than €2million (£ 1.7million) worth of damage. The latest torrential rain combined with melted snow  forced the Gave de Pau river to burst its banks, leading to far more destruction. Jean-Pierre Artiganav, the mayor of Lourdes, said the damage will run into "tens of millions of euros" and the clean-up operation could take months. A visit by the Pope would certainly help, he said.  Benoit Casterot of the Lourdes Hotel Association. said “it would be a wonderful help if the Holy Father would visit us. We all hope he will come," On a visit to Lourdes, François Hollande, the French president, said: "Everything will be done so that the sanctuary will be accessible again as soon as possible." A world-wide appeal for donations has already started. Mr Casterot added: "We can forget about the 2013 season."  Friday’s Daily Telegraph Catholics everywhere will be saddened at the devastation to the shrine caused by the flood, and especially those who have been to Lourdes as pilgrims.  The appeal for financial help to repair the damage will no doubt have an immense response from all over the world from those who love Our Lady.
Would you like to "contribute to the weekly Bulletin? The main article in last week's Bulletin was written at my request by Margaret Sargent, now editor of The Braes magazine. It was her personal reflection on the celebrations for the 1,400th anniversary of St. Columba’s landing on Iona with his monks, and she described so beautifully and vividly the Mass in Oban cathedral and the pilgrimage to Iona where again Mass was offered and this time by the Papal Nuncio. Many people remarked on the article and how much they enjoyed it, for it allowed them to share in the joy of the occasion. This set me thinking! I have been producing the 4 page Bulletin for almost seventeen years, and although I enjoy every minute of it, it is not always easy to find sufficient news and articles to fill the pages. Now we have a colour printer and  the front and back pages are
printed in colour each week, and on special occasions the inside pages as well, which makes the Bulletin more attractive. It would certainly give the Bulletin more appeal if we could find volunteers who would offer to contribute articles or  items of news— and already the idea has been taken up without my suggestion after parishioners read Margaret’s article. If you are interested, please let me know and I will be delighted to have your co- operation. Margaret Muncie, who along with her husband, John, produced Lochaber Life for many years, has written on  St. Joseph Cafasso whose feast day is today, June 23rd. You will find her interesting article on the next page. So that’s a beginning! One of our faithful readers of the Bulletin is Sister Helen Cameron, Guelph, Canada,  who receives it each week  on the internet and is always so encouraging with her comments. Being a Cameron, she has a great interest in the Clan at Achnacarry and is in regular contact with its website. Perhaps Sister Helen would be kind enough to write an article about herself and her life, for I am sure it would be of great interest to all our readers. (How about is, Sister?)
My sincere thanks to our parishioners who signed a Gift Aid form . Our parish account has been credited this week with the sum of £2,812.07 reclaimed from the tax you already paid on your contribution to the parish in the offertory collection. Each pound  contributed gained 25%, and the diocese also claimed back £1,419.30 on the four special collections which is now allowed  by the Inland. May God bless you all for your goodness.