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