Sick and Disabled
Visit Our Lady in the Grotto
Join us on our Special Needs Pilgrimages each June and October
It is our blessing to join pilgrims on their journey to Lourdes and to pray with them in the Grotto. For the past sixteen years, we have accompanied pilgrims with diabetes, end stage cancer and many other illnesses and needs. These pilgrimages are accompanied by a Catholic priests and leaders faithful to the Church. It is our privilege to assist pilgrims in preparation, in travel and on pilgrimage.
Thanks to our medical volunteers, we are able to provide supportive medical for each pilgrim, which may include:
- wheelchair assistance
- kidney dialysis
- infusion therapy
- and more
Prior to departure, pilgrims’ supportive care are reviewed by our pilgrimage leaders and medical team, including our medical director and head nurse who have been to Lourdes over twenty times.
In addition to our medical team, our pilgrims are supported on pilgrimage by our lay companions, youth and advance team volunteers. Lay volunteers provide for all the personal and practical care. Every detail is lovingly considered to make for a happy and holy journey to Lourdes, France.
- Daily Mass, Grotto Mass and International Mass
- Opportunities to receive the Sacraments, including Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation
- Visit to the Piscines (Baths)
- Tours of the Sanctuary and town of Lourdes
On travel, accommodations and volunteer requirements
Our pilgrimage family stays at a unique handicapped accessible, hospital-bed facility overlooking the Grotto called the Accueil Notre-Dame. Named “Accueil,” the French word for “welcome,” this facility is located within the Sanctuary, just a short walk from the Grotto.
The Accueil offers accommodations within the Sanctuary grounds with access to the medical equipment needed to make pilgrimage comfortable, including: oxygen, wheelchairs, shower chairs, Hoyer lifts, bedside commodes, hospital beds with optional gel mattresses and more.
Family-style meals are served in our dining room three times a day. Special medical dietary needs can be accommodated and supplemented.
Requirements of all Pilgrims
– Possess a sincere desire to join in our charism of family centered in love
– Seek to grow in faith
– Purchase mandatory TravelGuard travel/medical insurance to cover possible setbacks related to travel
Pilgrims Complete or Provide:
– Registration Form
– Copy of Valid US Passport or Visa
– Connecting Travel Form
International Travel with Lourdes Volunteers
Lourdes Volunteers flies Air France commercial flights from several American gateway cities. Working in partnership with Air France for the past decade has produced greater opportunities for the sick and disabled to make international travel.
Experienced teams of volunteer leaders, medical professionals and a chaplain escort group from each departure city to Paris. From there, the group connects to a regional flight to Pau, in the south of France. At the Pau Airport, Lourdes Volunteers charters a bus and handicap van to transport our pilgrims on to Lourdes.
Travel Tips for a Successful Journey
For more information on how to travel safely and comfortably throughout pilgrimage, please review our Travel Tips.
Throughout Europe, annual Hospitality “Sick and Handicapped Pilgrimages” bringing terminally ill, elderly, and disabled with special needs to Lourdes. Each year over 50,000 seriously ill pilgrims make the spiritual journey to the Grotto. The joy of the pilgrims is evident in their faces and tearful farewells. No one goes home empty-handed! This unique experience is made possible by the volunteer services of over 100,000 Hospitality lay and medical volunteers from all over the world.
Today, with Lourdes Volunteers, Americans can enjoy the same pilgrimage experience Europeans have known for more than one hundred years.
With God, all things are possible!