Franciscan University Fund
Students serve North American Volunteers special needs pilgrims, providing transportation, meal service, housekeeping and hospitality. Nursing and pre-med students serve with the medical team, and student volunteers make it possible for the sick to travel from the United States and seek the healing graces of Our Lady of Lourdes.
All attend the Mass in the Grotto and International Mass, as well as the Eucharistic and Candlelight Rosary Processions. Through service in the Sanctuary, students deepen their knowledge of St. Bernadette and the Message of Lourdes.
Students serve Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes, an international team of volunteers offering assistance at the train station, baths and ceremonies in the Sanctuary. Volunteers provide their hands in service to the sick pilgrims in need. Ladies serve in the Baths, assisting pilgrims from all walks of life into the liquid grace of Lourdes. They begin their service in prayer to prepare for the task at hand, which can be physically demanding. Men serve in a variety of ways: at the train. unloading the sick; assisting pilgrims off the train; in the two daily processions; and during the ceremonies and events of Lourdes.
All attend Formation, where they learn about Lourdes, the Sanctuary, St. Bernadette and the Message of Lourdes as given to Bernadette by Our Lady in 1858.
“Everyone’s experience is a bit different. Our Lady tailors each pilgrim’s and volunteer’s time in Lourdes with that person’s needs in mind. Everything that happens there—easy, hard, heartwarming or embarrassing—is part of her plan, even if the significance won’t become clear until long afterwards.
If you’re not sure if you should go: pray. Talk to others who have gone. Consider where you want to see Our Lady’s grace in action: hardships in your own life, sick friends and relatives, loved ones in need of conversion. Ask God what your talents are and where He wants you to use them. And don’t be afraid to ask God for a sign.”Peter, OH