Return to France:

Lourdes, Nevers and Paris

October 8-18, 2021, $3,499 per person

5 nights in Lourdes followed by 2 nights Retreat in Nevers with 2 nights in Paris.

 At this time, our Return to France Pilgrimage is open to returning volunteers. If space allows, family and friends of volunteers will be considered to join this unique pilgrimage. 

Everyone is invited to personally experience Lourdes with time for prayer and private reflection.

A daily confidential Covid-Post Covid support gathering will be available to medical professionals.

HNDL will offer both Formation and Engagement Ceremonies. Service opportunities are not guaranteed and may be limited and are dependent upon Sanctuary needs.

Daily activities of the Sanctuary are included. Special Lourdes and Bartrès opportunities seldom experienced during busy Special Needs Pilgrimage will be available during this unique time.

 We will be staying in the Accueil Notre-Dame. Dining and housekeeping services are not allowed by the Sanctuary. As a family, we will serve each other in the dining room and clean our own rooms.

Please bring your uniform (whether you will be serving or intend to serve or do not intend to serve) as we are often invited to participate in the daily liturgies of the Sanctuary and you might want to join!

Retreat in Nevers with St. Bernadette expert and EWTN theologian Noah Lett with Fr. Sean Grismer. Time for quiet respite and an afternoon exploration of the ninth century cathedral and catacombs.

The holy sites of Paris: Miraculous Medal Chapel, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel, Sacré Coeur Basilica St. Chapell and the exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral with the possibility for a mini-Louvre visit.   

Please be advised Covid-19 limitations and restrictions are likely or possible and beyond our control.  

Covid-19 Travel Notice

At this time, vaccines are not required to travel to France. Non-vaccinated passengers must provide proof of valid – PCR or – Antigen testing conducted less than 72 hours prior to departure. Proof of vaccine or proof of antibodies verification do NOT require PCR or Antigen testing to enter France.

At this time, EVERYONE entering the United States must provide proof of – PCR or – Antigen test. We will arrange for Pharmacy testing for all travelers, currently 29 € for non-European travelers.

Expenses incurred for testing or quarantine will be the responsibility of each individual. We kindly request everyone traveling during this unprecedented time to be patient and flexible with the changing rules and requirements, delays and unexpected schedule interruptions.

Masks are required in airports, on airplanes and in enclosed spaces both in the US and France. If large numbers of people are gathering outdoors (such as in the Grotto), masks will be required.

Masks and virus testing may be requested and mandatory at any time. All travelers must be willing to follow the rules of the airlines and country of entry during travel.

Passports must be valid for six months prior to departure from France. We will provide updates on travel restrictions and requirements, as necessary. Up-to-date information is available on the websites listed below. Please visit these sites frequently, especially as we near departure.

US Department of State-Travel.State.Gov

US Embassy and Consulate in France

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Payments, Cancellations and Terms

Air France and Travel Guard have changed their pricing, ticketing, cancellation and coverages.

$3,499 per person 

$1,000 Deposit at initial booking.

60 days before departure – August 9, 2021 – final payment is due.

$500 Cancellation fee through August 9

All payments are non-refundable after August 9

Read full Terms and Conditions.

What's Included

Flights

Round-trip flights from New York-JFK through Paris-CDG to Pau-PUF.

Bus Transport

Private transport from Pau Airport to Lourdes, Lourdes to Nevers and Nevers to Paris-CDG.

Accommodations

Lourdes: Shared or private-room hospital bed stay at Accueil Notre Dame, Nevers-Espace Bernadette and Paris– L’Enclos Rey. Single room request subject to availability, with extra fee. 

Meals

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included most days (except Lourdes and Paris dinner one night to allow for “free time” and dinner-out at your choice and preference—a luxury-of-time opportunity!).

Lourdes: Arrival Cold Plate; Retreat Dinner (Lunch-midday) and Pilgrimage Supper (Dinner-evening) will be served family-style in the Accueil Dining Room. 2 Dinners Out Included: Lourdes and Bartrès; 1 dinner in Lourdes (on your own).

Lourdes to Nevers Bus Lunch: Roadside Fast-Food Stop (on your own).

Nevers: Espace Bernadette meals included in the Refectory.

Paris: L’Enclos Rey meals in the cafeteria; one dinner (on your own) in Paris!

Pilgrimage Chaplain

Catholic priest(s) will accompany the pilgrimage and retreat; Mass daily; available for spiritual direction and Sacramental Confession.

Leader(s)

Experienced Pilgrimage Leaders to guide travel and scheduled activities.

Not Included

Airport snacks or meals; alcohol at meals (wine is included with some dinners and is served complimentary on international flights); bistro snacks, drinks or deserts; museum or show entrance fees/tickets, taxi or private transportation; tips (our Lourdes Volunteers Guides do NOT accept tips); ambulance transportation, medical visits, medication or hospitalization (see Travel Guard coverages). 

Daily Itinerary

Day 1- Friday: International Departure

Our pilgrimage family meets in New York-JFK Airport for group check-in; international departure and overnight trans-Atlantic flight.

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Day 2- Saturday: Arrival in France

Arrival in Paris; connecting flight to Pau. Private bus transportation to Lourdes. Accueil Notre-Dame Check-In and Welcome Mass; cold-plate dinner; Grotto visit and prayer; optional roof-top Rosary.

 

Day 3-6- Splendid Sunday-in-Lourdes

International Mass, Sunday Dinner, Rest or Optional EWTN Grotto Rosary; Eucharistic Procession; AN-D Dinner; Support Group and “Spa Session.”

(HNDL-Service Registration)

Day 4 – Marvelous Monday

Mass and Medical Bureau Registration and Meeting; AN-D Retreat Lunch; Afternoon Baths; Optional Upper Stations of the Cross or FREE TIME; Duck Dinner at Eleanor’s Tea House; Candlelight Rosary Procession.

(SNP-Arrival-Rest/HNDL-FUS Formation)

Day 5 – Terrific Tuesday:

Bartrès: Bergerie (outdoor uphill walk!), Mass in the 17th century parish church; Gourmet Au Bon Accueil Lamb Lunch; FREE AFTERNOON AND FREE EVENING (dinner on your own or AN-D).

(SNP-Sanctuary Visit-Eucharistic Procession/HNDL-FUS Service)

Day 6 – Wonderful Wednesday:

Morning Market, Parish Church and Guadalupe House-San Juanito Renovation Sneak-Preview Tour; AN-D Retreat Lunch; Mass with Anointing; Holy Hour; Retreat-or-Support Group; HNDL Engagements! HNDL Commitment Reception.

(SNP-Footsteps of Bernadette-Candlelight Rosary Procession/HNDL-FUS Service)

Day 7- Traveling Thursday:

Farewell to Special Needs Pilgrimage and FUS Volunteers! Room cleaning and departure for Nevers by private bus. Lunch en route (your choice ad expense). Dinner at Espace Bernadette upon arrival.

Rest and Rosary before St. Bernadette in the Chapel. 

(SNP-Baths-Lower Stations/HNDL-FUS Service)

Day 8 – Fantastic Friday in Nevers:

Morning Mass and Retreat Session; Lunch in the Refectory; Afternoon Retreat Session; Rest or Cathedral and Catacombs Visit; Dinner in the Refectory; Rosary in St. Bernadette Chapel. 

Day 9-  Special Saturday in Paris:

Morning departure by private bus; lunch en route (your choice and expense). Arrival in Paris and check-in at L’Enclos Rey. Afternoon Mass and visit to Miraculous Medal and St. Vincent de Paul. Dinner in L’Enclos Rey Dining Cafeteria.

Day 10- Superb Sunday-in-Paris:

Mass in Sacré Coeur Basilica; Lunch with the Sisters; Stop by Notre-Dame exterior; afternoon in the Louvre or FREE TIME. Dinner ON YOUR OWN.

Day 11- Monday: Return to USA

Early departure Mass; airport transport; flight to NY-JFK. Godspeed home!

 

Checklist of Items and Forms to Submit

Once we receive your online application, we will contact you to direct you to complete your registration and payment. To fully confirm your reservation, the following items will need to be submitted:

  1. Application Agreement with Covid-19 Waiver 2021  – email or mail
  2. Health Information Form 2021 – email or mail
  3. Copy of Medical License – email clear copy
  4. Copy of Passport – email clear copy of photo page
  5. Copy of Covid -19 Vaccination Card OR Copy of Antibody Proof OR Agreement of Understanding to submit a copy of PCR or Antigen Covid-Negative results less than 72 hours prior to departure.
  6. Purchase travel/medical insurance
  7. Safe Environment Verification 
  8. Connecting Travel Details
  9. Final Payment – Due August 8.

Items can be emailed to erika@lourdesvolunteers.org or mailed to our office: Lourdes Volunteers, 107 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13208.

Flight Information

Group Flight Itinerary

08 October 2021- Outbound Flight Itinerary

Depart: 8:35 PM Air France #011 New York-JFK Airport Terminal 1

Arrive: 10:20 AM Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E (October 9)

 1 hour and 40 minute transfer time from Terminal 2E to Terminal 2F

Depart:12:00 PM Air France #7534 Paris CDG Airport Terminal 2F

Arrive: 1:30 PM Pau-PUF Airport

18 October 2021- Return Flight Itinerary

Depart: 11:20 AM Air France #014 Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E

Arrive: 1:50 PM New York-JFK Airport Terminal 1

Connecting Flights

Delta Airlines and Air France are Sky Team Partners. It is highly recommended ALL connecting travel to JFK be on Delta Airlines flights. IF YOU CHOOSE another carrier and do not arrive in JFK in time for our flight, Air France will not be obligated to assist you to another flight to Paris.

Please allow at least 3 HOURS OR MORE to arrive in JFK prior to international departure.

Please allow at least 3 HOURS OR MORE to depart for your connecting flight home upon return.

Please submit your connection flight information as soon as you purchase your ticket by email or mail.

Group Deviations

Air France allows deviated returns to a limited number of passengers in a designated group. Air France charges a fee for deviated travel. Additional add/collect fees may be imposed for different flights and is subject to availability. Please contact our office to explore, discuss and discern deviated travel.

Individual travel is at your own risk and is not tax-deductible as missionary expense.

Please inquire about adding deviated travel to your Travel Guard Policy for continued medical and travel coverages.

Frequent Flier Miles

We suggest you join Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program earning miles. Sign up through Delta Airlines. Only a SkyMiles number can be provided to the group desk before travel. You earn miles on fares based on a percentage of the distance flown on your flight. The percentage is determined by the fare class of your ticket. Other Sky Team frequent flyer numbers must be presented at check in. Please provide your SkyMiles number to our office prior to ticketing by completing the application. 

 

Travel/Medical Insurance

Travel/Medical Insurance

DUE TO COVID-19 IMPACT, SIGNIFICANT CHANGES ARE IN EFFECT FOR TRAVEL-MEDICAL COVERAGE:

 Travel/medical insurance is mandatory for all participants/passengers/travelers/volunteers.

Each traveler is responsible for purchasing a personal policy this year.

The cost is not included in the pilgrimage price as it has been in the past. 

Please purchase a Preferred Policy from Travel Guard after your registration is confirmed by our office and within 15 days of initial deposit to ensure pre-existing condition medical coverage.

Individual premiums are based on age and tour cost. Coverages vary by state.

Extra coverage (bundles) can be added to individual policies if desired. A description of coverage for the Preferred Policy can be found here.

New York Residents: The Protect Assist product is the equivalent level of coverage to the Preferred for New York residents, but it is not the same plan and does not carry the same benefits.

Please purchase your policy when directed by our office only from this link or by clicking the image below to ensure our office is notified of your purchase and policy details.

Note: Lourdes Volunteers has offered Travel Guard policies for many years and we are familiar with their coverages and claims process. We are not familiar with other insurance products. In the event of a claim, we can assist you only if you purchase the recommended policy.

In the past, Travel Guard has offered a group policy that we have always used. This policy is no longer available causing the change in our procedure for travel insurance this year. After review, we have found that the Preferred Policy offers coverage for similar to past group coverage policies.

*PLEASE NOTE: Travel Guard will cover hospitalization for Covid-19. However, Travel Guard does not cover non-hospitalized quarantine accommodations, meals, costs and travel expenses. Please carefully read the coverages provided and NOT provided in the updated policy since the pandemic.

Safe Environment Verification

Safe Environment Verification and Form

All volunteers on pilgrimage with Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers are required to have current Safe Environment training with a criminal background check provided by their home diocese. The Syracuse Diocese must verify both the training and background check each year for every volunteer.

Thank you for your cooperation and support to protect the innocent and vulnerable.

Please see instructions and download and print the Safe Environment Verification Form.

If you have questions, please email Courtney@LourdesVolunteers.org or call to speak with Courtney in our office at (315) 476-0026. 

Prepare for Pilgrimage- read, pray and pack!

UPDATED and additional information will be included as we near our departure. Stay tuned…

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers will assist and accompany every person on pilgrimage: healthy, with special needs, vaccinated, unvaccinated, Covid-recovered, with Covid contact exposure, without Covid-19 or with Covid-19 asymptomatic or active Covid-19. Isolation and quarantine restrictions in France may require physical separation from in-person contact for a specified amount of time—but, a leader or medical volunteer will always remain nearby to guide the Sacramental, physical and medical care needed, to arrange meals and the return flights home.

Evaluating the risks for travel at this time, volunteers are requested to carefully discern a personal commitment to travel or delay travel until next year or following years. If you will be joining us to Lourdes, Nevers and Paris, please be prepared for a unique pilgrimage during an exceptional time.

As we have all learned since the onset of Covid-19, things can change unexpectedly and quickly. We will keep you updated and informed of impact to our travel and pilgrimage. Following is some additional information you may find helpful in discerning and preparing for RETURN TO FRANCE:

Pray

Prayerfully discern your pilgrimage during this unusual time. IF you discern to join the pilgrimage, bring your favorite Rosary Beads, Prayer Book and a journal to capture your spiritual reflections.

Pack

October in the Pyrenees Mountains is the best of ALL seasons! Bring sunglasses, an umbrella and a warm jacket!

Each person will be asked to bring a “Covid-Kit” of antibiotics, OTC treatments, etc. Someone from our Medical Team will be contacting each volunteer/pilgrim to review the options and possibilities.

As an extra precaution, you may want to bring the comforts you would have nearby if you contracted the flu during the winter season: warm socks, tissues, cough drops, a thermometer, etc. A Pulse-Ox (pulse oximeter) can be purchased online or in a pharmacy, should you want to self-monitor.

Masks and Sanitizers

It’s everywhere! Bring your own masks and sanitizer, but both are widely available throughout travel.

Airlines, Airplanes, and Airports

Airlines are allowing changes to dates of travel without fee or penalty. Change-without-fee can be restricted by the date of purchase or the date of change request. Some airlines require a specific number of hours or days before departure for travel changes to be made without penalty. Also, the dates of travel can greatly impact the cost of changed flights (i.e., summer fares are usually higher).

Airport Concessions (restaurants and shops) can be limited, some closed. Most are open in Paris.

Flights offer less snacks, choices and meal service. (Air France still offers FREE CHAMPAGNE!)

Masks are mandatory in all airports and on all flights. Air France provides a surgical mask to all passengers. New masks are provided every four hours.

Lourdes Sanctuary

Masks are required in the Grotto although it is outdoors as large numbers of people can suddenly be present. (French law requires all persons to be masked if gathering in large numbers.)

Holy Communion is restricted, by order of the Bishop, to reception in the hand.

The Baths are open limited hours, but immersion into the tub is not available at this time. Families can enter together, remain clothed, and experience the “Gesture of Water” in guided prayer, similar to Bernadette during the 9th apparition with Lourdes Water poured over the hands for personal use.

Processions are limited by the number of participants and the weather. (For example, the Eucharistic Procession might be held in the Underground Basilica, not processing throughout the Sanctuary.

Confessionals are now separated by plexi-glass with a low opening for sound/hearing.

Covid testing during travel and in France

PCR Testing can be done in a laboratory or hospital (~49€) with test results in 24-48 hours.

Antigen Testing can be done in a Pharmacy (~29€) with test results in ~30 minutes.

All virus test results must be on Laboratory, Hospital or Pharmacy letterhead and cannot be hand written.

NEW! French Health Passport- updated 7/15

 July 2021 🇫🇷 French President Macron announced that beginning in August, a “health pass” will be required for anyone to dine in restaurants and/or to attend events or enter public places (i.e., sporting events, museums, attractions, public places, etc.) in France.

There is no actual physical vaccine passport-health pass. (Like an actual official passport book.
For those with a smart phone, an app can be downloaded: #Tous Anti-Covid from the France. gov website.
#Tous Anti-Covid app allows the user to upload one of the three requirements:
1. Proof of recent Covid-Negative Test.
2. Proof of Antibodies (covid recovered).
3. Proof of completed vaccine doses.
This allows for quick proof of compliance.
A QR allows users to “check-in” to sites. (QR reader app is required.)
Additionally, the #Tous Anti-Covid app can identify recorded exposures by tracing your activities and whereabouts. The app claims not to share your information.
For those without a smart phone, paper will do! However, be sure proof is legitimate and acceptable (no self-testing or hand-written test results, both “jabs” if required and the required post period wait.)
Please note: RECENT is not defined for covid-negative test results. It has been less than 72 hours for boarding flights.
This new French rule-law and information is subject to change.
Please check with official government sites and trusted sources for accurate and up-to-date information.
Contact exposure or Covid symptoms during travel or in France

Anyone with known close-contact exposure to a Covid-Positive patient will be required to self-isolate (preferably alone in a single room).

Anyone exhibiting Covid symptoms is required to self-isolate (preferably alone in their room) until a test can be conducted and test results are received.

Quarantine Requirements

Anyone testing positive must be quarantined in a specifically identified location or their current residence for a minimum of 14 days.

Once symptom-free, retesting is required before re-entry or return flight.

Covid Protocol Treatment

Supportive Care Plans prepared prior to departure will identify possible Covid treatments prescribed by the Primary Care Provider at home. Each traveler will be asked to bring a “Covid-Kit” with them.

Once treatment is prescribed by French medical providers, French protocols will be put into place. 

Hospitalization

Covid-Positive patients requiring hospitalization will be totally isolated during treatment—without any visitors allowed. 

Recovery and Repatriation

Once symptom-free, retesting for proof of Covid-Negative or Antibodies is required for departure.

(Unlikely) death abroad and repatriation of remains

International protocols dictate strict handling, especially at this time, of bodily remains or cremains returning to the United States from France.

Travel Guard

Significant Covid-19 impact changes to policies and coverages—please carefully read your policy!

Travel Documents and Departure Meeting via Zoom

Approximately one week prior to departure, we will send your travel documents to you.

Included in the travel documents packet will be your departure day instructions, Delta/Air France e-ticket confirmation, daily itinerary, emergency contact information, travel wallet and luggage tags.

Be sure to notify us if you are traveling prior to pilgrimage and need your documents mailed to a different address.

We will have a Departure Meeting via Zoom prior to departure. You will be notified of the date and time and asked to confirm joining the meeting as soon as it is scheduled.

Volunteer Promise of Joy

O God, Thank You for giving me this opportunity to serve You.

I promise to embrace with joy all the duties asked of me.

Please help me to be humble and obedient as I serve You in others.

Please let me be of joyful help, not only to Your pilgrims, but to my fellow volunteers and directors.

Let me never be an obstacle to Your graces in me or in others.

May my volunteer service be pleasing to Jesus and His Immaculate Mother, all to honor the Blessed Trinity.

Amen.