Why did you first decide to join us on pilgrimage?
While I was a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville and studying abroad in Gaming, Austria, I learned about NALV and participated in my first pilgrimage.
What has been your favorite aspect of service?
Serving the infirm has always been a special privilege for me. On pilgrimage, it’s all the more special because not only am I helping with their daily physical needs, but I am also helping meet their spiritual needs as they encounter Our Lady who brings them to Jesus.
Favorite memory of Lourdes?
I’m not sure that I have a favorite memory, but I always remember the feeling of peace that’s very much present amidst the busyness in the sanctuary. My favorite memory from Virtual Pilgrimage is seeing that same sense of peace and hope come over my parishioners’ faces as they approached the rocks of the grotto with such profound faith and offered a sincere prayer from the heart.
When you think of Lourdes, what do you think of?
When I think of Lourdes I think of the Universal Church. People from all nations and such different cultures come together as one to honor our Lady, and that is a beautiful thing.
How has service with Lourdes Volunteers influenced your faith / daily life?
I went to Lourdes in 2008 as I began to more seriously discern a vocation to the priesthood. My time there in service and prayer was instrumental in my discernment. Specifically the experience of the Universal Church, deepening my devotion to Our Lady, and performing prayerful manual labor really helped me hear the Lord’s voice.
What would you tell someone considering pilgrimage with Lourdes Volunteers?
Growing in the spiritual life is not something that comes easy, rightfully so. Take the risk, make the commitment, and let the Lord do his work. You might come to Lourdes to help serve, but the graces you receive are much greater that what you give.
In what ways do you hope to continue expressing the Message of Lourdes?
I have been spreading the message of Lourdes through my priestly ministry.