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Church is not just a Church of the perfect: Archbishop

By Sarah Mac Donald - 13 September, 2015

"We remember in our prayers those who have had to flee from their homelands that they may find peace through the welcome of believers in Jesus Christ."

LourdesThe Church is not just a Church of the perfect Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reminded over 2,000 pilgrims from the archdiocese of Dublin at the closing Mass in Lourdes on Friday.

In his homily for the final liturgy of the week-long visit which saw over 170 sick and elderly and disabled looked after by a cohort of doctors, nurses and volunteer carers, who were joined by parish groups, the Archbishop reminded them that the Church is a Church of pilgrims, who “day by day recognise their weakness and sinfulness, not in any sense of pessimism but in the awareness that the presence of Jesus can change us and enable us to speak of him through the way we live”.

Referring to the special peace of Lourdes they had all experienced during the course of the week-long pilgrimage, he prayed that they would bring that back with them in their own hearts and bring it back to others also.

As they concluded the liturgy at the French shrine, the Archbishop prayed “for all those who find themselves far from that circle of joy which comes with the presence of Christ”.

These, he highlighted, included those trapped in drug and substance abuse, in gambling and other addictions as well as the victims of violence.

He prayed that God would “change the hearts of the perpetrators of violence and those who traffic and exploit people”.

Those who struggle to make ends meet for their families in difficult circumstances; the sick and the troubled; those trapped in consumerism and superficiality; those who cannot find direction and hope in their lives, were also prayed for.

“We pray for peace in our world and we remember in our prayers those who have had to flee from their homelands that they may find peace through the welcome of believers in Jesus Christ,” the Primate of Ireland said.

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