July 16th, 2022 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding meeting of our first board of directors. The minutes from that 2002 meeting were revisited this year showing the first order of business was to pray the Rosary together.  This was also the first “order of business” for Our Lady of Lourdes at each of the eighteen apparitions with Bernadette.  Everything begins with and flows from prayer with Our Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Conception.

At our July membership meeting, Foundress Marlene Watkins, recalled that throughout the year prior to that first meeting, she made a weekly holy hour, praying for discernment before the Blessed Sacrament.  It is from that fount of prayer that twenty years of everyday miracles began to flow.

No one could have imagined the extraordinary number of graces that would pour through our humble apostolate.  God’s gifts always exceed our biggest dreams.  We now number over 11,600 registered members! We have accompanied 236 pilgrimages and over 6,300 pilgrims and volunteers to the Grotto in Lourdes.  Over $1.3 million in financial assistance has been gifted through our Andrea’s Wish Fund, making holy pilgrimage possible for the sick and disabled. Today, we are producing and directing our own video series and will soon have our first book published;  continuing our mission of evangelization!

For those unable to make the journey to the Grotto, our Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage ExperienceTM has brought the message of Lourdes to parishes, schools, prisons, detention centers, nursing homes and hospitals.  This experience has been shared with over 300,000 pilgrims in forty-seven states and on five continents. During the pandemic, this grace was extended online to millions via livestream and TV broadcast on EWTN with an exceptional plenary indulgence.  Most recently our LVPETM accompanied the relics of St. Bernadette across the United States. Through virtual pilgrimages, office calls and online requests, we have shared hundreds of thousands of bottles of Lourdes water, providing a tangible sign of God’s peace and healing for the suffering, discouraged and lonely.

Yet, for all the many accomplishments of our apostolate over the last twenty years, the most beautiful graces are the profound stories of healing and peace in individual lives—the everyday miracles of Lourdes witnessed along the way to the Grotto.

“….I will forget no one.”  —Saint Bernadette Soubirous