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Lourdes pilgrimage (letter)

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 Contents - Nov 2003AD2000 November 2003 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Anglicanism at the crossroads - Peter Westmore
John Paul II elevates Archbishop George Pell to the College of Cardinals - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Social Justice Statements: in whose name should they be published? - Richard Egan
Melbourne on course despite brain drain - Fr Paul Stuart
Vocations: Missionaries of God's Love congregation flourishes in Canberra - Mary Pidcock
Melbourne's Caroline Chisholm Library passes ten year mark - Michael C.C. Ryan
Vocations: Father James Gould and the hallmarks of successful vocations promotion - Michael Rose
Tattoos and body-piercing: the moral dimension - Fr Peter Joseph
Interview: Vatican Cardinal praises Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion'
Letters: Cardinal Pell (letter) - Alan Hoysted
Letters: Celibacy (letter) - Kim Albertini
Letters: Vatican II - Peter D. Howard
Letters: The Footy Show (letter) - Patricia Kelly
Letters: The Mass? (letter) - Kevin McBride
Education: The Catholic Church's one Founder - Fr John O'Neill
Letters: Role model? - Br Con Moloney CFC
Letters: Hypocrisy (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Letter from India
Letters: Good out of evil (letter) - Brian Harris
Letters: Lourdes pilgrimage (letter) - Jenny Davies
Events: Vocations Camp - Fr Duncan Wong FSSP
Books: A Grief Unveiled, by Gregory Floyd - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Built On A Hilltop: Good Shepherd Sisters in WA 1902-2002, by Geraldine Byrne - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: Great books at the best prices!
Reflection: Cardinal Pell on Pope St Gregory the Great and the duties of bishops - Cardinal George Pell

Here is an update to our report published in the October AD2000.

The excitement of anticipated miraculous cures at Lourdes was great as the Susan Gunderson pilgrims awaited their flight at the Brisbane airport to leave on pilgrimage to Paris, Nevers, Lourdes, San Giovanni Rotondo, San Michael's Shrine, Pietrelcina and Rome.

The pilgrimage began in Paris where we met up with the pilgrimage's spiritual director, Capuchin Father Carmel Flora of Plumpton Seminary in Sydney, who had arrived on an earlier flight.

Susan bathed in the Grotto water twice a day and tolerated every inconvenience imaginable from lack of wheelchair access in Paris and Rome to totally unsuitable bathroom facilities for a disabled person, but, as she had indicated to her husband Steven before leaving Brisbane, "The pilgrimage is not meant to be easy," and so she gritted her teeth and they endured, earning themselves the admiration and respect of all on the pilgrimage.

Susan was even approached by people in Lourdes who asked, "Are you Susan Gunderson?"

Susan and Steven came back to Australia spiritually renewed and with a new awareness of the value of suffering when united with the suffering of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

On 22 September, Susan surprised us by arriving at Nicole King's home and walking, with Steven's assistance, from the car, up the front steps and inside. There we viewed the video of our audience with our beloved Holy Father in Rome on the last day of the pilgrimage.

The Gundersons, God willing, have every intention of returning to Lourdes next year for a longer period. The balance of the money that has been raised for the Susan Gunderson Appeal will go towards their return pilgrimage.

Thank you for publishing Susan's story and AD2000 readers please keep praying for her healing.

Greenslopes, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 10 (November 2003), p. 15

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