March 13, 2020
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers is closely monitoring the Coronavirus world situation.
To ensure we remain current with the latest information and updates we receive communications and expert directives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and the Sanctuary at Lourdes.
Your physical, mental and spiritual health and safety are most important to us. We trust in Our Lady of the Grotto to guide our thoughtful decisions into prayerful and prudent discernments for all of our members and volunteers.
We have received many inquiries about our pilgrimages and travel. For your easier reading and reference, following are the most frequent inquiries in Question and Answer format:
Please join us in continued prayer for those affected by the virus and their families, as well as healthcare workers, organizations and governments working to provide assistance.
Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette, pray for us!
Will Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers cancel pilgrimages to Lourdes from the USA this year?
Each pilgrimage will be reviewed and monitored as the airline penalties and departure dates approach. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, we will contact each person registered to discuss prudent options.
If a pilgrimage is cancelled due to the Corona Virus or insufficient registered participants to maintain a group, we will transfer your payment to another later pilgrimage or refund monies not paid or due in penalty to airlines or accommodations.
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers will not keep any monies other than what has been paid or is due to airlines or accommodations. Travel Insurance Premiums are usually non-refundable, but exceptionally, some might be recoverable under this extraordinary situation as events unfolded world-wide.
If I choose to cancel my pilgrimage travel, what are the cancellation penalties?
Every Pilgrim and Volunteer is unique to their situation and we respect each person’s decision in regards to travel during this unusual time. There are many factors that affect if and how much money can be refunded.
Cancellation penalties are determined based on the date of travel insurance purchase, the date of cancelation, the reason for cancellation and the originally scheduled departure travel date.
We will assist each person with travel insurance claims, however the claims must be filed by the individual policy holder.
We have adjusted our cancellation penalties for June pilgrimages as follows:
Cancellations between now and April 13th:
*A cancellation penalty of $100 will be retained by the airline as a non-refundable airline contract deposit penalty. All other pilgrimage payments will be refunded.
*Refunds for travel/medical insurance policies will be reviewed on a per case basis and will depend on specific policy rules.
We hope extending this non-refundable deadline will allow those with a desire or hope to travel to Lourdes this year to make an informed decision with a more lenient deadline and less lessened financial penalty investment.
As the situation changes, we will post updates to our cancellation penalties for June pilgrimages and later departures throughout the season.
Will Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage ExperiencesTM be available?
The guidelines of each diocese and/or specific sites will be honored. To respect and protect those attending and our Guides, accommodations can be adapted for touching the Grotto Rock, distributing individual bottles of Lourdes Water and optional processions.
Currently, our 2020 schedule includes the United States, Canada, Central and South America. Please visit our website for updates to our schedule, as changes, additions or postponements may be made.
We remain united in prayer with all of our members and those who pray with us during this time.