Lourdes Youth Volunteer and Catechesis Program
Learning, Living and Loving the Message of Lourdes Through Service
Each June North America Lourdes Volunteers brings youth, ages 14-17, to serve our Special Needs Pilgrims from the United States who journey on pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.
Our pilgrims could not come to Lourdes without the service and assistance of the youth.
Youth Program Highlights:
Youth volunteers offer junior service with our Advance Team to support the Special Needs Pilgrimage. Service duties include: dining room, housekeeping tasks, hospitality, transportation for all outings to masses, processions, tours and visits as well as the final clean out.
Youth volunteers pray with and for our pilgrims as a daily part of their service through the Rosary, Eucharistic and Rosary Processions and visits to the Grotto.
Youth Chaplain and Catechist provide daily catechesis developing the Message of Lourdes through the sacraments. Our youth are LEARNING the Message of Lourdes in daily catechesis modules, LIVING the Message of Lourdes in Service to the pilgrims and LOVING the Message of Lourdes in their time spent in Lourdes.
Orientation and training begin as soon as our youth arrive in Lourdes. Training lessons include: What is Service, All Service Begins in Prayer, How to Approach our Pilgrims, Dining Room (set up, serving, clearing, clean up, manners), Housekeeping (making beds, cleaning floors and bathrooms), Hospitality, Transportation (wheelchair, voiture, brancard), as well as bending, lifting and hand washing.
Each youth receives a drawstring backpack with a set of 6 t-shirts. Specific color shirt is worn each day, tied to our catechesis and sacrament of the day. These provide us with group recognition – for us to locate our youth and each other as well as for the Sanctuaries to identify our youth – as well as modesty!
We maintain a 1:4 ratio for the entire pilgrimage Each youth group must provide chaperones, adults who know your youth. Chaperones are “hands on” and fully participate in all aspects of our youth pilgrimage.
We stay in humble dormitory style Sanctuaries housing. Private showers and toilets are available on each floor. The facility is located in a pastoral, tranquil setting, providing our youth a quiet and peaceful place for rest at the end of the day.
Breakfast is taken at our accommodations while lunch and dinner are eaten at the self-service volunteer cafeteria. The cafeteria offers a different selection daily.
All Youth are expected to fully participate every day in catechesis, service assignment, prayer, catechesis task, pilgrimage transportation and any other service as assigned.
Pre-Pilgrimage Webinars for Chaperones/Leaders
Participation is required to ensure that all chaperones and leaders have received Formation to include the Charism of North American Lourdes Volunteers, the Message of Lourdes, the spirituality of St. Bernadette, the significance of service to our pilgrimage, the meaning of service and serving where needed.
Forms and Requirements
Each youth volunteer must complete/submit the following items: Application, Registration, a recent photo, priest letter of recommendation and passport copy. Chaperones must complete all the above mentioned and additionally sign a Youth Leadership Protection Policy and Safe Environment Training Verification Form.
Code of Conduct and Dress Code
All participants must follow the code of conduct and dress code as provided.