Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes: Stage Service
Hospitalité is the association, founded in 1885, of volunteers worldwide who come to
offer volunteer service to the pilgrims of Our Lady of Lourdes through the Sanctuaries
This international team of 8,000 lay volunteers offers assistance in the baths, at the train station, in the Sanctuaries and supporting sick or disabled pilgrimages at either of two specialized Accueil hospital-like facilities in Lourdes each year.
Volunteers who join Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes are invited to serve annually. After five years of service and training (Formation), volunteers are invited to to confirm their commitment to Our Lady of Lourdes in a consecration at Holy Mass. At this time, they receive this sacramental insignia silver medal on a blue and white ribbon.
Hospitalité volunteers must be capable and in good health, between the ages of 18-75 and willing to offer six consecutive days of service.
Two half days of Formation and hands-on training are provided by Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes.
Hospitalité Service is available from Holy Week to All Saints Day each year.
St. Joseph Service for MEN
All male volunteers are assigned to this service as a “brancardier” (stretcher bearer). Each brancardier is assigned to a 5-7 man team for the service week. The team is assigned to varied tasks each day that include:
- Welcome and transfer of stretcher and wheelchair-bound pilgrims at the train station and airport
- Transport of pilgrims to the Accueils
- Maintain prayer and order on the platform exterior of the Piscines (Baths)
- Bath attendant in the Men’s Piscines
- Crowd management at Eucharistic and Candlelight Processions
St. Jean Baptiste (The Women’s Piscines)
The piscines are the baths of Lourdes where pilgrims come to bathe in the spring water from the Grotto. Piscinieres (attendants) have the profound privilege of working intimately with women and children who come to experience the baths by covering and assisting pilgrims during undressing and dressing to maintain modesty and by assisting pilgrims in and out of the baths.
Piscine service is physically, spiritually and emotionally demanding. Bending and lifting are required.
The Accueil Notre-Dame and The Accueil Marie Saint-Frai (Housekeeping)
Accueil is French for a place of welcome. The sick and disabled are housed and cared for in these special facilities during their pilgrimage. The Accueil Notre-Dame offers 950 beds; the Accueil Marie Saint-Frai offers 450 beds for special needs pilgrims. Accueil handmaidens have the privilege of offering much needed humble service behind the scenes. Accueil duties afford limited interaction with pilgrims. Returning volunteers can offer other duties, such as a shift in the Piscines or assisting the Sacristan, floral arrangements or embroidery.
Daily duties include housekeeping, kitchen and dining room services.
Schedule varies daily, often meal-time shifts of 1-2 hours, 2 or 3 times per day.