The Pilgrimage was a big event in the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland. Rome, Lourdes and Knock were the main destinations for C.B.S.I. Troops.
Eucharistic Congress 1932
An important event for the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland was the Eucharistic Congress held from the 22nd to the 26th of June 1922. Thousands of CBSI Scouts camped in the grounds of Terenure College in Dublin providing first aiders, marshals, escorts and lining the route of the procession.
I don’t know of any Scout badges issued for the Eucharistic Congress but this metal pin badge was worn by many of those who took part.
This is the type of uniform worn by a First Class CBSI Scouts during the Eucharistic Congress.
1934 Pilgrimage to Rome
In 1934 over 1.500 Scouts from the C.B.S.I. went on a Pilgrimage to Rome. The Scouts sailed on the Cunard Liner ‘Lancastria’ from the North Wall Dublin in March and was led by his Eminence Cardinal MacRory. The Melvin Cup presented to the C.B.S.I. was taken to Rome by the Scouts. Due to poor weather condition at Civitavecchia the Lancastria had to dock at Naples. On the way to Rome the Scouts made a visit to Gibraltar.
Clare: 20 Scouts from Clare attended the pilgrimage leaving on the 7th of March under the direction of Scoutmaster P Callinan of the 4th Clare (Ennis) Troop, Scoutmaster G Moloney 3rd Clare (Clarecastle) and assistant Scoutmaster Ryan 2nd Clare (Kilrush).
3rd Cork on board the Lancastria.
Scoutmaster Mr Thomas C Tarbett 3rd Cork (St. Patrick’s) told of the pilgrimage. On Saint Patrick’s Day the Scouts marched through the streets of Rome to Saint Peter’s Square, a prominent Fascist leader was heard to remark he had never seen better discipline than that of the Irish Scouts. Scouts enjoyed the many on board games and entertainments and as well as calling into Gibraltar the on the way to Rome they also visited Ceuta in North Africa on their return journey to Ireland.
Use of the Scout Stave
Catholic Boy Scout of Ireland lined the route of the Eucharistic Congress using their Scout Staves to form a barrier.
1958 saw the biggest peace-time air-lift of civilian passengers when the National Air Line Aer Lingus took over 1000 Scouts to a pilgrimage in Lourdes. The pilgrimage was led by his Grace the most reverend Dr. Walsh, Archbishop of Tuam along with 58 Priests all connected to the C.B.S.I. The first contingent of Scouts left Dublin airport on Wednesday the 9th of April and the Scouts began to return on Tuesday the 15th of April. The second contingent of about 500 Scouts left on Thursday. It took 19 planes over a 36 hour period to get all the pilgrim Scouts to Lourdes and it was the biggest International pilgrimage to fly into Tarbes Airport Lourdes. The Matron for the Pilgrimage was Miss Ann Kelly of Saint Vincent’s Hospital Dublin. The Chief Scout Mr. J. B. Whelehan also attended. The Scouts occupied over thirty hotels around Lourdes with a Scout Master and Chaplain assigned to each hotel.
Over sixty Troops took part:
In September 1937 over sixteen hundred Scouts took part in a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Blessed (now Saint) Oliver Plunket in Drogheda, County Louth. Scouts from all over Ireland took part in the pilgrimage which took place on the Sunday 5th of September.
On the 26th of June Scouts from all over Ireland took part in the National pilgrimage to Knock.Scouts from Limerick took part and a bus collected Scouts from Saint John’s Scout Hall and 9am sharp and from Saint Joseph’s Hall.
42 Scouts from the 3rd Monaghan went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, the Scouts spent several years raining the £1000 need to finance the trip. The pilgrimage was led by Rev. Dr. D. Duffy C.C. Troop Chaplain and Scout Master Mr. E. McAvennue.
Sixty Scout from the 86th Dublin (Mount Merrion) departing Dublin Airport for a pilgrimage to Lourdes and San Sabastian. The Scouts departed on the 15th of July 1966.