Everyone has a story:

For Dan and myself, the very fact that we are here is a miracle!

We are so grateful.  Each one of us was meant to be on this journey.  Our Lady draws us in many different ways.  She is very clever!

As we experience this pilgrimage, we are reminded of Our Lady’s enduring faithfulness. We look around us at so many faces and lives of pilgrims still processing to the Grotto.

Just as She requested in 1858.  As pilgrims, we come still believing and still hoping, as we leave our petitions at Her feet in the Grotto.

As a mother, she has watched each one of us build our families and helped us grow our faith.  Our Lady has healed broken relationships, brought us closer together, dried our tears, heard out laughter, cheered our successes, and loved us through our failures and disappointments.  Our Lady of Lourdes has been with us and for us through sickness and health, through our joys and heartaches. If the walls of our blessed Grotto could talk, we pray they would give testimony of pilgrims who tried to center their lives around faith in you and Our Lord.  We pray for the pilgrims to follow that they may aspire to have an ever increasing faith in Her grace and love.

For all of us here on this journey, we pray that each one of us have learned from our volunteers, the charism and true spirit of living under the mantle of Our Lady of Lourdes.  From beginning to end, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality was one unit serving Our Lady.  Their charism of love and grace never missed a beat!  Personally, I remember saying, “I hope that rubs off on me!”

As we move forward, we pray that each one might find themselves in a place where we commit ourselves to the extension of your grace and charism as we have experienced from our volunteers.  May we share that charism not only to each other in our families but to those who walk through our doors .  May we take home with us a reflection of what we have experienced at your Grotto, so that our homes be a place where the stranger is made into a friend, the lonely have a place at the table, and the heartbroken find the joy of hope and our families feel the security of belonging to You.

And so, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette, as we travel back to our homes, please guard us from being too comfortable.  Keep it at the front of our minds, the Grace and Charism you have bestowed upon us during this pilgrimage.

The Holy Spirit led Bernadette down a path of Gospel holiness and simplicity, a path of abandonment to the merciful love of God.  Here we are today, 2022, and Bernadette remains for us a humble and radiant herald of Our Lord and Our Lady, echoing across centuries a message of challenge and hope:  change your hearts, begin to fully live the Gospel of Jesus.  May we meet the challenge!

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

St. Bernadette, pray for us!