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Arkansas Catholic pilgrimage explores shrines of France

Group of 22 pilgrims traveled to 10 cities during Lenten journey in April

Published: May 11, 2019         
Malea Hargett
A statue of St. Bernadette greets visitors to the Convent of St. Gildard in Nevers, where the incorrupt body of the saint is venerated. Nevers was one of the towns visited by Arkansas pilgrims April 1-12.

The lives of saints like St. Therese and St. Bernadette and devotions like the Sacred Heart of Jesus came alive for 22 pilgrims who traveled with Arkansas Catholic April 1-12 to France.

The Lenten journey included stops in 10 cities, some not well-known even to those who have lived in the country for years.  While Father Tony Robbins, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Conway, served as the spiritual director, he was joined by two other priests, Father T.J. Hart and Father Stephen Hart, who also assisted by celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.

Some of the towns like Lourdes and Paris were well-known to the pilgrims, but many others like Paray-le-Monial where the Sacred Heart of Jesus was exposed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque were new and most appreciated by the pilgrims.

The trip concluded in Paris, including a tour of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, which suffered a massive fire five days after the pilgrims visited. In the capital, Arkansans also learned about the Miraculous Medal and the green scapular and had time to tour a museum or another sight on their own.


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