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Thursday, December 8, 2016
British pilgrim appointed Councillor in Lourdes
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 Just days before the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Monsieur Gabriel Barbry, President of the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes (HNDL), has announced the appointment of Mr Johan Bergström-Allen as a Councillor of the Hospitalité, following the approval of the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. Mr Bergström-Allen becomes the fifth Briton currently serving on the Council of the Hospitalité, the organisation responsible for overseeing the welcome and care of pilgrims to Lourdes, especially those who are sick. Mr. Bergström-Allen will serve on the Hospitalité's 'St Joseph Council', which is charged with such services as organising the welcome of pilgrims at the station and airport, the smooth-running of ceremonies, and crowd-control at the Grotto and baths. The shrine at Lourdes attracts some six million visitors a year, who are welcomed by a vast array of staff and international volunteers including 17,000 members of the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes. Mr Bergström-Allen, an employee of the British Province of Carmelites, said: "I'm very proud and humbled to be asked to serve my fellow-pilgrims on the Hospitalité Council in Lourdes. I'm conscious of following in the daunting footsteps of very devoted former and current Councillors. I'm looking forward to liasing between the authorities in France and the numerous organisations from Britain and elsewhere that make pilgrimage to Lourdes possible." Mr. Bergström-Allen, the first UK citizen to serve on the St Joseph Council for a number of years, is also a Councillor of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage Hospitalité for which he has worked as a 'brancardierp in Lourdes for the last decade.
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