On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11th February 2020, Bishop Stephen Robson joined staff and pupils at Our Lady’s RC Primary School, Perth, to celebrate their patronal festival.
Headteacher, Mrs Lynn Mendes, welcomed Bishop Stephen to the school and invited him to visit the classes and witness their work. From nursery to P7 there was common thread, Our Lady, St Bernadette and the story of Lourdes. Bishop Stephen told the young learners about his many visits to the Marian Shrine – at one point he completed a freehand map of France on a whiteboard to allow him to locate the Lourdes.
Bishop Stephen told the pupils, “Our diocese organises three pilgrimages each year to the place where St Bernadette had the visions of Our Lady more than 150 years ago. Every time there are pilgrims who return and say how the experience has healed them in so many different ways.”
Bishop Stephen joined P7 pupils as they watch a live webcast of Mass from the Lourdes Grotto – recognising too a fellow bishop at the altar. This prompted so many questions – how do you become a bishop; did you always want to be a bishop; have you met the Pope?
It was difficult to explain how his appointment was not something he sought – but rather it sought him. “You don’t apply for the job,” said Bishop Stephen, “it finds you!”
“Sometimes God works in you in a way you’d least expect.”
After lunch P1-P7 joined Bishop Stephen and Fr Colin Golden (their chaplain) for Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in the church.
Following the Mass the children returned to school to be treated by Fr Colin – with cakes from Murrays the Bakers!