Special Needs Pilgrimage
October 10-16, 2021 $3,099 per person
Our group will be departing October 10th from New York JFK and Houston IAH with 5 night accommodations at the Accueil-Notre Dame or local hotel in Lourdes returning October 16th.
It is our blessing to join pilgrims in their journey to Lourdes and to pray with them in the Grotto. It is our privilege at this extraordinary time to assist pilgrims in preparation, travel and on pilgrimage.
In preparation for pilgrimage, our reconnaissance team departs July 31. Their mission is to gain information about air travel with Air France, airport transfers, accommodations and the changing regulations of visiting France. We ask to pray for them as they prepare for your holy pilgrimage.
Tentative pricing is necessary until their return. Pilgrimage cost is subject to change based on vaccination status that will impact accommodation and meals.
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.
- Daily Mass, Grotto Mass and International Mass
- Opportunities to receive the Sacraments, including Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation
- Candlelight Rosary and Eucharstic Processions
- Visit to the Piscines (Baths)
- Tours of the Sanctuary and town of Lourdes
Payments, Cancellations and Terms
Air France and Travel Guard have changed their pricing, ticketing, cancellation and coverages.
$3,099 per person (tentative pricing- may be subject to change based on vaccination status that will impact accommodations and meals).
$1,000 Deposit at initial booking.
60 days before departure – August 11, 2021 – final payment is due.
$500 Cancellation fee through August 11
All payments are non-refundable after August 11
Read full Terms and Conditions.
Round-trip flights from your departure city, New York- JFK or Houston – IAH through Paris-CDG to Pau-PUF.
Private transport from Pau Airport to Lourdes.
Lourdes: Shared or private-room hospital bed stay at Accueil Notre Dame.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
Catholic priest(s) will accompany the pilgrimage; Mass daily; available for spiritual direction and Sacramental Confession.
Experienced Pilgrimage Leaders to guide travel and scheduled activities.
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).
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:
- Application Agreement with Covid19 Waiver – email or mail
- Health Information Form – email or mail
- Copy of Medical License (for volunteers only) – email clear copy
- Copy of Passport – email clear copy of photo page
- 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.
- Purchase travel/medical insurance
- Safe Environment Verification (for volunteers only)
- Connecting Travel Details
- Final Payment – Due August 26.
Items can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to our office: Lourdes Volunteers, 107 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13208.
New York JFK Group Flight Itinerary
10 October 2021- Outbound Flight Itinerary
Depart: 11:50 PM Air France #009 New York-JFK Airport Terminal 1
Arrive: 1:15 PM Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E (October 11)
7 hour and 45 minute transfer time from Terminal 2E to Terminal 2F
Depart: 9:00 PM Air France #7532 Paris CDG Airport Terminal 2F
Arrive: 10:30 PM Pau-PUF Airport
16 October 2021- Return Flight Itinerary
Depart: 2:15 PM Air France #7535 Pau-PUF Airport
Arrive: 3:50 PM Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2F
3 hour and 30 minute transfer time to from Terminal 2F to Terminal 2E
Depart: 7:20 PM Air France #008 Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E
Arrive: 9:50 PM New York-JFK Airport Terminal 1
Houston IAH Group Flight Itinerary
10 October 2021- Outbound Flight Itinerary
Depart: 3:45 PM Air France #639 Houston- IAH Airport Terminal D
Arrive: 8:15 AM Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E (October 11)
3 hour and 45 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
16 October 2021- Return Flight Itinerary
Depart: 6:30 AM Air France #7533 Pau-PUF Airport
Arrive: 8:00 AM Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2F
2 hour and 10 minute transfer time from Terminal 2F to Terminal 2E
Depart: 10:10 AM Air France #636 Paris-CDG Airport Terminal 2E
Arrive: 1:45 PM Houston-IAH Airport Terminal D
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.
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.
In support of pilgrims needing supportive medical care, our group accommodations are at the Accueil Notre-Dame. In French, accueil means a place of welcome. The AN-D is a hospital-bed facility and the only accommodations located on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Lourdes. The AN-D offers medical equipment necessary to support our pilgrims including wheelchairs, handicap bathrooms, shower chairs, and wall oxygen.
During this year, dining and housekeeping services are not allowed by the Sanctuary itself. As a pilgrimage family, we will serve each other in the dining room and must ask families to clean their personal bedrooms.
The Accueil offers a walking bridge from the front door to the Grotto and is located in the midst of the Rosary candlelight and the Eucharistic processions. The Sanctuary is surrounded by the town of Lourdes giving quick access to bistros, cafes and shopping.
Non-vaccinated pilgrims are not allowed into Sanctuary housing. These pilgrims will be staying at a local hotel just a short walk to the Sanctuary gate. Our reconnaissance team departing July 31 will return with news about what is best for a hotel stay and meals.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pilgrim Promise of Joy
O God, Thank You for calling me on this spiritual journey to know You more fully.
I promise to embrace with joy all that You present to me on this pilgrimage.
Bless me to be patient, compassionate and loving as I meet You in others.
O God, please give me the grace to welcome the unexpected, to see Your blessing in every moment and to be awed by holiness wherever encountered.
Please renew me to return home refreshed and transformed in You.